Features http://www.guitarworld.com/taxonomy/term/5/0 en Eddie Van Halen on How He Created His Signature Sound Using MXR's Phase 90 and Flanger Pedals http://www.guitarworld.com/eddie-van-halen-how-he-created-his-signature-sound-using-mxrs-phase-90-and-flanger-pedals <!--paging_filter--><p>Earlier this year, in preparation for the 40th anniversary of <a href="http://www.jimdunlop.com/products/electronics/mxr">MXR,</a> its parent company, <a href="http://www.jimdunlop.com/">Dunlop Manufacturing,</a> took a survey to learn how guitarists perceive the pedal maker. </p> <p>One of the questions asked was, “Which player do you associate the most with the MXR brand?” The respondents chose Eddie Van Halen more than 60 percent of the time. Notably, the runner-up received fewer than half as many mentions. </p> <p>That result is, in part, due to MXR’s EVH Signature Series pedals, the EVH90 Phase 90 and the EVH117 Flanger, which became perennial best-selling MXR products upon their introductions in 2004 and 2007, respectively. But MXR pedals have remained an essential element of Van Halen’s sound since his band’s debut album was released in 1978. </p> <p>The swirling textures of a Phase 90 are heard on classic tunes like “Eruption,” “Atomic Punk,” “Ain’t Talkin’ ’Bout Love,” <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxZy3Tr2wQM">“Everybody Wants Some!!”</a> and “Drop Dead Legs” as well as new songs like “Outta Space” and “Stay Frosty,” and Van Halen’s distinctive and innovative use of the Flanger made an indelible impression on guitarists through songs like “Unchained,” “And the Cradle Will Rock…” and “Hear About It Later.” </p> <p>In addition to those two tone-enhancing mainstays, Ed has also relied upon pro-quality MXR tools like the Six-Band Graphic Equalizer and Smart Gate to keep his onstage tone full, aggressive and noise-free. His current onstage pedal board even includes an MXR Analog Chorus, which he uses for songs like “Pretty Woman” and “Little Guitars.” </p> <p>In celebration of MXR’s 40th anniversary milestone, it made perfect sense for <em>Guitar World</em> to talk with the company’s most influential player about how his MXR pedals have influenced him throughout the last four decades. </p> <p><strong>GUITAR WORLD: Did you use any pedals when you were a kid and learning to play?</strong></p> <p>A wah-wah was probably the first pedal that I ever tried. I probably borrowed it from a buddy. But I was from the school of plugging the guitar straight into the amp, so I didn’t use any pedals at first.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/z_lwocmL9dQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>How did you discover MXR pedals?</strong></p> <p>A really good friend of mine named Terry Kilgore and I were the so-called gunslingers in Pasadena back in the mid Seventies. We jammed together and would trade licks and have a lot of fun. We weren’t competitive at all. I went to one of his band rehearsals once, and that was when I first saw a Phase 90. </p> <p>He used to play a lot of Robin Trower stuff. He used the Phase 90 with the speed control set around the 2 o’clock setting to get more of that fast, swirling sound. I decided to pick one up for myself. I was into Robin Trower too, but we didn’t play any of his songs, so I used it with the control set between 9 and 10 o’clock. I still use it the same way today. I just locked into that one setting, and I’ve used it ever since.</p> <p><strong>Why do you prefer the slower speed setting?</strong></p> <p>I thought it sounded unique. I never heard that before. It didn’t sound like the phase shifters made by other companies, where the phase sweep is more heavy and pronounced, almost more like a flanger. The Phase 90 produces a very light change of the sound. It’s not an over-the-top effect. It’s very subtle. </p> <p><strong>You tended to kick on the Phase 90 during your solos.</strong></p> <p>I did that in the early days because it would make the solo pop. Suddenly it became a different sound, which helped me stand out in the mix, because back then, in the club days, we usually had lousy P.A. systems and lousy sound guys. It didn’t boost the signal, but it made it pop out so the solo was more audible. It enhanced the tone.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/nU4IMFNgHa0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>What led you to the MXR Flanger?</strong></p> <p>Obviously, I liked the Phase 90, so when MXR came out with the Flanger, I said, What the hell? I loved their stuff. Their pedals are built like a brick shit house, and they make great sounds, so I started putzing around with the Flanger too. I always use the same setting for everything, from the intro to “And the Cradle Will Rock…” to “Unchained,” with the exception of the setting I used on the intro to “Outta Love Again” and “Bullethead.” </p> <p>I set the three knobs on the left between 11 o’clock or 11:30, and the last knob on the right [regeneration] is all the way up. I might fine-tune the speed a little to match it to the tempo of the song, like on “Unchained” where the sweep goes perfectly with the riff. I was just goofing off and experimenting. It wouldn’t have sounded good to use the flanger all the way through. The riff just needed a little bit here and there. It’s a cool, tasty little tidbit that I threw in there to draw attention to the riff. </p> <p><strong>How did you decide to place the Flanger in front of the Phase 90 in your signal chain?</strong></p> <p>I have no idea! I think I just liked having the Phase 90 in the middle between the Flanger and the microphone on the stage. </p> <p><strong>How did these pedals influence your songwriting?</strong></p> <p>One good example is “And the Cradle Will Rock…” I had written that intro riff on the electric piano, and the guys thought that it needed something. I just hooked up the Flanger and pounded on the low keys. It was a great sound, and it worked. There wasn’t any rocket science to it. Even the Flanger on “Unchained” was totally by accident. </p> <p>For some reason I just thought that the Flanger sounded good there. The way it goes from the sweep up to the sweep down wasn’t planned. My normal setting just happened to fit the tempo of the song. I kicked it in and out, and when I heard the way the Flanger swept up and then down, I thought it sounded cool. Nothing I’ve ever done is really all that thought out. I’d just wing stuff, and if it sounded cool I would do it again.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/1m-DYM7JvMA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>Do you remember how you came up with the intro to “Atomic Punk”?</strong></p> <p>That basic idea for that sound originally came from “Light Up the Sky,” which I had written before “Atomic Punk,” even though “Light Up the Sky” appeared on our second record. After the guitar solo there is a drum break, and you can hear me rubbing my palm on the low E string. One day I decided to try that with the Phase 90. It was an interesting sound, and it turned into a cool song. I’ve never really ever heard that sound from anyone else, neither before nor after I did that. After the solo, I actually also used the Flanger for a quick bit. </p> <p><strong>How did those pedals become an essential part of your sound?</strong></p> <p>They enhance the sound of what I’m playing. In certain spots I would use them if I needed them. It wasn’t a set thing; I’d just wing it, and nine times out of 10 it would work. I have to have an idea for a song first, then I’ll putz around and add or take away things. It’s like making a steak: you have to have the steak first, then you can make it better by adding a little seasoning, but not too much because you want to taste the steak, not the seasoning. </p> <p><Strong>With the exception of your tape echo units, you used only MXR effects during the band’s early days. What inspired that brand loyalty?</strong></p> <p>I love the way that my MXR pedals sound, and I’ve never broken one. I tried a few stomp boxes by other companies back then, but most of them were cheaply made, the sound quality wasn’t consistent, and they’d break when you stepped on them. MXR pedals are very solidly built. They always do what they’re supposed to do, and they never falter. I’m pretty brutal on my gear. If I can’t break it, no one can!</p> <p><strong>Did you modify your pedals in any way?</strong></p> <p>I wouldn’t even know how to modify a pedal. I never had a reason to do that. A pedal does what it does. There are a lot of variables involved in trying to get the same sound as mine. First, you have a guitar. Then there are cables in between that and the type of amp you’re using. Then there are the settings on the amp’s controls. But the most important part is the player. I’ve said this often before: you could put nine guys in the studio playing through my rig set exactly the same and they’ll all sound different. The only modification to my pedals was the player! [laughs] It sounds that way because it’s me playing.</p> <p><strong>Have you ever plugged your stomp boxes into an amp’s effect loop or in between a preamp and power amp?</strong></p> <p>I’ve always plugged them straight into the amp’s input. It just sounds better that way. </p> <p><strong>How did your MXR EVH signature pedals develop?</strong></p> <p>The ICs [integrated circuits] that MXR used in the Seventies were no longer available. The factories were closed and the technology had changed. The challenge was making pedals that sounded the same as the originals using different parts. That took a while. </p> <p>The Phase 90 was pretty easy to duplicate, but the Flanger took a lot longer. We worked through a series of prototypes with Bob Cedro of MXR. Our yardstick was the “Unchained” setting. We had my original Seventies Flanger, and we would compare the prototypes to that. Bob would take notes, work on the circuit for another three weeks, and bring it back. We kept narrowing the gap until we got it. It took about nine months of going back and forth. I know exactly what I want, and I won’t stop until I get it.</p> <p><strong>Who came up with the preset button for the EVH Flanger?</strong></p> <p>It was a collaborative effort. Since there is one main setting that I use, we decided to make it easy for people to duplicate that. I could also use it to switch between my “Unchained” setting and the one I use on “Outta Love Again,” even though I never actually do that. [laughs] I still like to adjust the knobs myself instead of flipping a button. </p> <p><strong>Your most recent rig has an MXR Analog Chorus and Smart Gate. Why have you continued to stick with MXR pedals?</strong></p> <p>I would not be able to use my rig the way I play at that volume on channel three on my 5150 IIIS amp without the Smart Gate. They make great stuff. I have never, ever broken an MXR pedal. They deliver a product that does what it’s supposed to do. It’s that simple. </p> <p><strong>You seem to be exceptionally loyal to MXR pedals.</strong></p> <p>I established a great working relationship with Jimmy Dunlop and everyone at the company a long time ago. I’ll toss around ideas with them, and they’re really receptive to my input. I’m very close with them, and they take great care of me. </p> <p><em>Photo: Neil Zlozower/atlasicons.com</em></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/eddie-van-halen">Eddie Van Halen</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/van-halen">Van Halen</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/eddie-van-halen-how-he-created-his-signature-sound-using-mxrs-phase-90-and-flanger-pedals#comments Dunlop Manufacturing Eddie Van Halen Jim Dunlop MXR November 2014 Effects Interviews News Features Gear Magazine Mon, 06 Jul 2015 18:44:16 +0000 Chris Gill 22411 at http://www.guitarworld.com Not Fade Away: Grateful Dead, Trey Anastasio at July 5 Fare Thee Well Show — Concert Review http://www.guitarworld.com/not-fade-away-grateful-dead-trey-anastasio-fare-thee-well-july-5-show-concert-review <!--paging_filter--><p>Last night’s final Fare Thee Well show; the final joint appearance, ever, by the Grateful Dead’s "core four" of Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann—if you take them at their word—began and ended the same way: with a group bow and a huge roar from a giant crowd.</p> <p>It was that kind of night: emotionally heightened, with cheers and tears around every corner for the highly amped fans.</p> <p>The good vibes were palpable throughout Chicago's Soldier Field and inseparable from the music. </p> <p>Spending three days in record crowds of up to 71,000 (last night’s released number) was an overwhelming experience. As my friend said, there was as much community feeling as in any crowd ever. No one paid for me to be here. I bought my tickets, paid for my travel and joined the masses entering and exiting like rats in a maze. And like everyone else there, I was invested on many levels. None of us walked out feeling cheated.</p> <p>After the bow and crowd roar, the first set started out strong with “China Cat Sunflower” > “I Know You Rider,” songs people have been waiting for every day. It all clicked, with Phish's Trey Anastasio stepping to the fore and Weir smiling like the Cheshire Cat as he stepped to the mic to sing his part of the “I Know You Rider” chorus harmony. During an excellent “Estimated Prophet” that followed, Weir was jumping around as he engaged Anastasio.</p> <p>The strong, in-sync playing continued throughout the first set. Anastasio has established great rapport with keyboardists Bruce Hornsby and Jeff Chimenti, with the three often engaging in call and response, harmony and counterpoint. </p> <p>“Built to Last” was nicely played, but remains a rather slight song in my estimation. “Samson and Delilah” was strong. “Mountains of the Moon” was musically excellent, but Lesh’s lead vocal flattened the melody and… well, it was neither the first nor last time a song was musically superb but vocally lacking. </p> <p>It was also, I believe, the first time that song had been played since 1969. I understand that pulling something like that off is part of the Dead ethos, but on the final night, I’d have taken something like Bruce Hornsby singing “Loser,” whether or not they played it last week in Santa Clara. Emphasizing not repeating a song in a five-night run makes no sense to me at a time like this. </p> <p>The set closed strongly with “Throwing Stones,” with the “Ashes, Ashes” chorus a giant sing-along each time through and a very nice jam in the middle, involving everyone.</p> <p><strong>SET 1</strong></p> <p>"China Cat Sunflower" > "I Know You Rider" | "Estimated Prophet" | "Built to Last" | "Samson and Delilah" | "Mountains of the Moon" > "Throwing Stones"</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202015-07-06%20at%201.46.28%20PM.png" width="620" height="403" alt="Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 1.46.28 PM.png" /><br /> <br /><br /> The second set—and perhaps the final in the Dead’s 50-year history—began with fireworks. Literally, a gorgeous, extended display over the stadium that made clear again that this was not a normal night. And after a nice, swirly intro, the band kicked into “Truckin’,” a song that just HAD to be repeated, and it was a great, hard-driving version. </p> <p>“What a long strange trip it’s been” was greeted with roars and mass sing-alongs every time through. </p> <p>The song wound down into a little jam that segued beautifully into “Cassidy,” which featured another stellar extended jam, highlighted by some nifty harmony playing by Weir and Anastasio and sweet interplay between Trey and Hornsby. The jam went a bit atonal, before Lesh took the lead pumping it back up and leading straight back into another, final verse. The strong start continued right into “Althea.” This aggregation does slinky really well and showed it again here. Trey sang the song beautifully and Hornsby helped it swing.</p> <p>As the band came down, some familiar piano notes tinkled and the crowd roared: “Terrapin Station” was under way. Lesh took the first verses, Weir the latter. And while neither made anyone forget about Jerry Garcia, it all worked. The whole suite was beautifully rendered, superbly played and emotionally resonant.</p> <p>Next up was a Space > Drums segment that was highly entertaining. I gladly squatted on the floor, taking a load off my legs, and looked up away from the stage watching Bill and Mickey do their mad scientist thing on the enormous Jumbotron on the stadium’s far side. That was quite the first half of a set. </p> <p>And then, of course, things got a little weird. Because the Dead need to get weird; they have a perverse sense of equilibrium. It’s just part of their DNA.</p> <p>They came out of Space and landed on “Unbroken Chain,” another Phil lead vocal. The song was strong, but as the tension seemed to build to a resolution that could only be a hard rocker, the group went into the molasses-slow “Days Between,” one of Garcia and Robert Hunter’s final compositions. Again, this was not on most people’s list of essential Dead listening, but players gonna play.</p> <p>We finally got the hard-rocking resolution next with “Not Fade Away,” which had the whole stadium singing along and jumping up and down. I looked up and saw the entire upper concrete structure bouncing, a site I will never forget. As the band walked off stage, the crowd continued the rhythmic five-beat clapping rhythm and kept singing the “Not Fade Away” chorus. </p> <p>Finally, Lesh returned for his donor rap and everyone returned for “Touch of Grey” that felt inevitable, as retrospective photos flashed on the screen and the audience cheered every shot of Jerry. Trey took the first vocals, then Weir took over. </p> <p>The band returned with Weir on acoustic and the rest of the frontline sans instrument for a quiet, guitar and piano “Attics of My Life” as the retrospective photos rolled through. Photos of deceased members and associates flashed by: Ken Kesey, Keith Godchaux (and the very much alive but absent donna), Brent Mydland (to great cheers), Vince Welnick… and then onto new Jay Blakesberg portraits of the current members, in this order: Phil, Bill, Chimenti, Hornsby, Mickey, Trey and Bob. God knows what went into choosing the order; I’ll let someone else sort that out.<br /> And then, finally, it was over and we were back where we started: a full stadium stomping, hooting and hollering as the band stood in the middle of the stage alternating hugs and bows. </p> <p>The masses filed out, shoulder to shoulder, a giant crowd moving with purpose and total peace through a maze. </p> <p>In a tunnel near the final exit, someone started a rhythmic five-note clap and everyone picked up and we all sang together: “Not, not, not fade away.”</p> <p><strong>SET 2</strong></p> <p>"Truckin'" | "Cassidy" | "Althea" | "Terrapin Station" | "Space > Drums" | "Unbroken Chain" | "Days Between" | "Not Fade Away" | <em>Encore:</em> "Touch of Grey" | "Attics of My Life"</p> <p><em>Photos: Jay Blakesberg</em></p> <p><em>Alan Paul is the author of the Ebook <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Reckoning-Conversations-Grateful-Kindle-Single-ebook/dp/B010EDXYZK">Reckoning: Conversations with the Grateful Dead</a></em> and the Top 10 <em>New York Times</em> bestseller <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/One-Way-Out-History-Brothers-ebook/dp/B00F1R9E36/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1436200980&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=One+Way+Out%3A+The+Inside+History+of+the+Allman+Brothers+Band">One Way Out: The Inside History of the Allman Brothers Band.</a></em></em></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/grateful-dead">Grateful Dead</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/not-fade-away-grateful-dead-trey-anastasio-fare-thee-well-july-5-show-concert-review#comments Fare Thee Well Grateful Dead Review show review The Grateful Dead Trey Anastasio Blogs News Features Mon, 06 Jul 2015 17:15:18 +0000 Alan Paul 24872 at http://www.guitarworld.com The Fab 50: The Beatles' 50 Greatest Guitar Moments http://www.guitarworld.com/fab-50-beatles-50-greatest-guitar-moments <!--paging_filter--><p>In 2014, on the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' arrival in the United States (and legendary February 1964 appearance on the <em>Ed Sullivan Show</em>), <em>Guitar World</em> celebrated the 50 best guitar moments from the band's hit-making history.</p> <p>The Beatles were such talented songwriters that it’s easy to overlook the fact that their music has some great—and occasionally groundbreaking—guitar work. </p> <p>In assembling this list, we looked beyond our personal favorite songs and reflected on where John Lennon, George Harrison and Paul McCartney showed their talents as guitarists, whether in a solo, a riff, a technique or by their astute selection of instrument and arrangement. </p> <p>For some songs, we’ve gone a step further and analyzed the guitar work to give you insights into the magic that makes these moments so special. Enjoy! And be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below or on Facebook!<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>50. Across the Universe</strong><br /> <strong><em>Let It Be… Naked</em> (2003)</strong></p> <p>John Lennon considered the Beatles’ recording of this 1967 composition “a lousy track of a great song,” dismissing even his own work on it. </p> <p>He was too hard on himself: his imperfect acoustic guitar work and vocal delivery effectively work in service of the song’s sincere devotional message, though overdubs of strings, background vocals and electric guitar obscured the delicacy and intimacy of his performance. </p> <p>The release of <em>Let It Be… Naked</em> in 2003 set the record straight, offering a bare-bones acoustic mix of the track that even Lennon might have approved of. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/eOfRD8zO2MQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>49. Flying</strong><br /> <strong><em>Magical Mystery Tour</em> (1967)</strong></p> <p>The strongly pulsing tremolo on the rhythm guitar makes the instrument sound as if it’s riding slightly behind the beat, giving the song a druggy languor appropriate to its title. (In the film <em>Magical Mystery Tour</em>, “Flying” accompanies scenes shot high above the clouds). </p> <p>The crystalline acoustic guitar that appears about 13 seconds in lends the song a country vibe, culminating in a tasty double-stop lick that lazily meanders down the fretboard. Heavenly.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>48. Helter Skelter</strong><br /> <strong><em>The Beatles</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>It’s not a stretch to say the Beatles prefigured heavy metal’s doomier side with this 1968 Paul McCartney track. </p> <p>For this recording, McCartney set aside his bass duties and strapped on his Fender Esquire to deliver the track’s brash rhythm work, while Harrison performed the searing leads on Lucy, the 1957 Les Paul Standard gifted to him by Eric Clapton. </p> <p>But the best work here is performed by Lennon on, of all things, a bass (either a Fender Bass VI). His sloppy but inspired playing propels the song along and provides its main rhythmic interest.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/QWuXmfgXVxY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>47. Yesterday</strong><br /> <strong><em>Help!</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>McCartney’s melancholy, acoustic guitar–driven ballad marked a symbolic, pivotal point in the Beatles’ career as a band in that it was their first song in which any of the members—three in this case—did not participate in the performance. </p> <p>McCartney tuned his guitar down one whole step for this song (low to high, D G C F A D) and performed it as if it were in the key of G, with the detuning transposing it down to the concert key of F. </p> <p>This may have been made for the sake of putting the vocal melody in a more optimal key for McCartney; it certainly made the bass notes sound deeper and richer, while the slackened string tension contributed to the thicker texture of the chord voicings.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>46. For You Blue</strong><br /> <strong><em>Let It Be</em> (1970)</strong></p> <p>Written by Harrison, this seemingly straightforward blues workout in D stands out as a bouncy oddball in the Beatles’ catalog. </p> <p>Not only is it one of the band’s few forays into 12-bar-blues territory; it also finds Lennon stepping into the uncommon role of lead guitarist, supplying a spirited solo and fills on a Hofner Hawaiian Standard lap-steel guitar in open D tuning. </p> <p>To make things even weirder, he uses a shotgun shell as a slide. In addition, there’s no bass on the recording; McCartney performed on piano and the song received no overdubs.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>45. Free As a Bird</strong><br /> <strong><em>Anthology 1</em> (1995)</strong></p> <p>Released in 1995 as a post-mortem Beatles track built upon a John Lennon home demo, “Free As a Bird” makes a valiant attempt to resurrect the spirit of the group’s glory days. </p> <p>While some will quibble about the lackluster songwriting, it’s hard to find fault with Harrison’s stinging slide work. Starting off with a few restrained lines, Harrison lets his playing soar on the solo, the one moment in which the song truly takes flight. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/J4PGoJuKvTM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>44. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)</strong><br /> <Strong><em>Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band</em> (1967)</strong></p> <p>Recorded quickly in a single session, this rocking reprise of the album’s opening track features some fiery lead guitar work from Harrison. </p> <p>Written as a bookend to the album-opening title track, the reprise is both faster and a whole step lower than the original, although halfway through it modulates up a whole step. (Modulation is a technique rarely found in the Beatles compositions, “And I Love Her” being another example from the group’s catalog [see entry 30].)<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>43. I Will</strong><br /> <strong><em>The Beatles</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>This quiet love song, written by McCartney, features only him on lead and harmony vocals, two acoustic guitars and scat-sung “vocal bass,” with Lennon and Starr providing percussion. </p> <p>McCartney overdubbed, on top of his main, strummed guitar part, a second, melodic part played in a rockabilly lead style reminiscent of Elvis Presley’s lead guitarist Scotty Moore, picking out syncopated, ringing melodies built around a first-position F6 chord shape with decorative, bluesy hammer-ons from the minor third to the major third. </p> <p>Years later, Cars guitarist Elliot Easton played a similar line on the chorus tags to “My Best Friend’s Girlfriend.”<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>42. The Ballad of John and Yoko</strong><br /> <strong><em>1967–1970</em> (1973)</strong></p> <p>In this 1969 musical telling of Lennon and Yoko Ono’s wedding and honeymoon, Lennon’s acoustic strumming sets up the song’s infectious rhythm, while his electric guitar fills play call-and-response with his vocals. </p> <p>The track was written and recorded in April of that year, fresh off the sessions for <em>Let It Be</em>, in which the group attempted to get back to their rock and roll roots. That might have inspired Lennon’s musical direction with this track, which he closes with an electric guitar riff reminiscent of Dorsey Burnett’s “Lonesome Tears in My Eyes,” which the Beatles covered early in their career. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/QY-ftTvsC7M" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>41. Yer Blues</strong><br /> <strong><em>The Beatles</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>Lennon wrote this 1968 song as a rude sendup of the electric blues boom that had taken London by storm, but the suicidal feelings he expresses were a sincere articulation of how he felt trapped both in his unhappy first marriage and in the Beatles. </p> <p>Likewise, his primitive two-note solo could be regarded as mocking disdain for the genre’s slick white imitators, but he plays the riff until it’s as raw as his emotions. He would pursue this protopunk style of guitar playing further on his 1970 solo debut, <em>John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band.</em></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/6dDw_3H0XKg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>40. Help!</strong><br /> <strong><em>Help!</em></strong> </p> <p>The Beatles’ mix of acoustic rhythms and electric guitar leads from 1964 through the end of 1965 helped greatly to define the sound of folk-rock. </p> <p>Written in the midst of his “Bob Dylan phase,” “Help!” shows Lennon continuing to divulge the vulnerability express on previous songs like “No Reply” and “I’m a Loser,” with the acoustic guitar providing the requisite balladeer instrumentation. </p> <p>Here, Lennon robustly strums out the rhythm on his 1964 Framus Hootenanny 5/024 acoustic 12-string, with Harrison contributing jangly lead lines and three-note descending passages on the choruses with his Gretsch Tennessean.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>39. Dear Prudence</strong><br /> <strong><em>The Beatles</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>This 1968 composition is arguably one of Lennon’s greatest achievements as a guitarist and demonstrates his development at the time into a bona fide acoustic fingerpicker. </p> <p>Having recently learned a basic eighth-note Travis-picking-like pattern from British pop star Donovan, Lennon put the newly learned pattern to great use in compositions like “Julia,” “Happiness Is a Warm Gun” and, most brilliantly, “Dear Prudence,” applying it to an ethereal modal chord progression he invented, which he performed in drop-D tuning (low to high, D A D G B E), using the two open D strings (the fourth and sixth) as ringing drones, or pedal tones throughout the majority of the song. </p> <p>The thumb-picking pattern goes fifth string, fourth string, sixth string, fourth string and repeats consistently through the changing chords, interrupted briefly at the end of each verse.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>38. If I Needed Someone</strong><br /> <strong><em>Rubber Soul</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>Although the Beatles were rock’s foremost trendsetters, they still were influenced by other artists. </p> <p>Case in point: George Harrison’s 12-string riff on “If I Needed Someone.” Played in a second-position D-chord shape with a capo on the seventh fret, the line was based on Jim McGuinn’s chiming guitar work in the Byrds’ mesmerizing 1965 track “The Bells of Rhymney.” </p> <p>In the mid Sixties, Harrison and McGuinn had formed a mutual-admiration society: “If I Needed Someone” featured Harrison’s second Rickenbacker 360/12, a rounded-off 1965 model that resembled McGuinn’s 1964 Rickenbacker 360/12, which McGuinn bought after seeing Harrison’s first Rick in the film <em>A Hard Day’s Night.</em></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/jjm28jTZDw8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>37. Day Tripper</strong><br /> <strong><em>1962–1966</em> (1973)</strong></p> <p>Lennon and McCartney’s hip-shaking 1965 hit is a thinly veiled ode to “weekend hippies” who embrace the drug counterculture when they’re not pursuing their careers. </p> <p>McCartney referred to this song and “Drive My Car” (recorded just days earlier) as “songs with jokes in” them, but there’s nothing laughable about this track’s swaggering guitar riff, borrowed from the Temptations’ 1964 hit “My Girl” and given a liberal dose of self-assured attitude. </p> <p>Lennon reportedly plays the solo, most likely using his Sonic Blue Fender Strat, while Harrison’s guitar parts were probably recorded with his Gretsch Tennessean.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>36. Think for Yourself</strong><br /> <strong><em>Rubber Soul</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>The Beatles had been interested in creating distorted guitar tones since at least 1964, when they attempted unsuccessfully to use a Gibson Maestro Fuzz-Tone on “She Loves You” and “Don’t Bother Me” (see entry 23). </p> <p>They were more successful with Harrison’s excellent 1965 composition “Think for Yourself,” for which McCartney plugged his Hofner bass into an early version of the Tone Bender fuzz pedal, created by electronics designer Gary Hurst and eventually marketed by Vox. The result is the harsh-sounding “lead bass” tone that bobs menacingly—and memorably—alongside Harrison’s lead vocal. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/L0Rd1KVfdEc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>35. Mother Nature’s Son</strong><br /> <strong><em>The Beatles</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>Throughout this song’s verses, McCartney fools you into thinking that he’s playing more than he actually is by filling out the harmony with his vocal melody. </p> <p>For example, while the ear hears a very strong D-to-G movement in the first two bars of the verse, all McCartney is actually playing is D to Dsus4; his vocal melody intimates the G chord by moving to B, that chord’s third. The verse also features, in the third and fourth bars, brilliant oblique motion—where one voice moves up or down while one or more other voices remain stationary. </p> <p>By moving the root of a B minor chord, B, down to the minor seventh, A, and then down to the sixth, Gs, while keeping the notes D and F# constant above this descending line, McCartney implies a slick progression of Bm D (or Bm7) E9. He does the same thing at the very beginning of the song.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>34. Girl</strong><br /> <strong><em>Rubber Soul</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>Lennon conjures up this song’s dreamy, Gypsy-like reverie by capoing his Gibson J-160E at the eighth fret, making the guitar sound similar to a mandola. </p> <p>Harrison furthers the vibe on the third verse, playing a mandolin-like melody on Lennon’s Framus Hootenanny 12-string acoustic. But the crowning touch comes at the coda, when a third acoustic guitar enters, playing a Greek-style melody that’s plucked at the bridge with sharp strokes, making it sound like a bouzouki and further emphasizing the song’s smoky, old-world aura. </p> <p>The British group the Hollies would copy the effect on their hit “Bus Stop,” recorded at Abbey Road some six months later. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/GlcuRGXiwNw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>33. Birthday</strong><br /> <strong><em>The Beatles</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>Like “I Feel Fine” and “Day Tripper” (see entries 12 and 37), “Birthday” delivers a classic and memorable guitar riff. Whereas those previous two songs veered from the traditional 12-bar blues formula, “Birthday” hews closely to it during its verses. </p> <p>McCartney and Lennon wrote the song in the studio during an evening session, which included a recess during which the band went back to McCartney’s house to watch a TV broadcast of the 1956 teen film <em>The Girl Can’t Help It</em>. The soundtrack—which included performances by Little Richard, Gene Vincent and other Beatles’ favorites—undoubtedly contributed to the song’s raucous vintage rock-and-roll vibe.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>32. One After 909</strong><br /> <strong><em>Let It Be</em> (1969)</strong></p> <p>This tune had been in the Beatles’ song bag for years, surfacing first as a rickety blues-style shuffle at a March 1963 recording session.</p> <p>By the time they tackled it again during their January 1969 rooftop performance at Apple, the Beatles were nearly finished as a group, but they were at long last able to breathe life into the tune, revving it up with a rock and roll beat and laying into it like the seasoned performers they were. Harrison delivers a stellar country-rock solo, using his rosewood Telecaster. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/IVN9ROEZIkE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>31. Norwegian Wood</strong><br /> <strong><em>Rubber Soul</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>This acoustic-rock masterpiece, written by Lennon, is not unlike “Here Comes the Sun,” in that it’s a folky chord-melody type of accompaniment that could easily stand on its own as a solo instrumental, with the vocal melody conveniently woven into the chords.</p> <p>However, unlike “Here Comes the Sun” (see entry 4), the melody sits in the middle, rather than on top, of the chord voicings, and is performed with more full strumming in a flowing 6/8 meter. Lennon performed “Norwegian Wood” as if the song were in the key of D, the verses being in D major and the bridge sections switching the parallel minor key of D minor, and used a capo at the second fret to transpose everything up a whole step, to E major and E minor, respectively.</p> <hr /> <p><strong>30. And I Love Her</strong><br /> <strong><em>A Hard Day’s Night</em> (1964)</strong></p> <p>It’s overshadowed by the Beatles’ more innovative songs, but “And I Love Her” demonstrates a leap in the group’s harmonic sophistication and musical arrangement skills. </p> <p>Harrison performs delicate arpeggiations on his 1964 Ramírez nylon-string classical acoustic, while McCartney subtly propels the song along with his soul-inflected bass work. A modulation from the key of E to F on the solo ramps up the drama and keeps the song from flagging. The final chord, D major—the relative minor of F—delivers surprise and emotional uplift that allows the song to end hopefully, in keeping with the optimism of the lyrics.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>29. Not Guilty</strong><br /> <strong><em>Anthology 1</em> (1995)</strong></p> <p>Recorded for 1968’s White Album but unissued until the release of <em>Anthology 1</em> in 1995, this Harrison track was a lyrical response to his fellow Beatles, who felt that their trip to India at his urging to study transcendental meditation had been a waste of time. </p> <p>It’s hard to understand why this track was abandoned, especially after the group devoted more than 100 attempts to the rhythm track. Harrison’s guitar work is especially superb, from his sinewy lead lines to his sizzling tone, achieved by placing his amp in one of Abbey Road’s echo chambers and cranking it up for maximum effect, while he performed, safe from the volume, in the studio control room. </p> <p>Harrison eventually re-recorded this song for his self-titled 1979 album.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/bwLk6xLCzio" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>28. Old Brown Shoe</strong><br /> <strong><em>1967–1970</em> (1973)</strong></p> <p>Dishonorably relegated to the B-side of the single “The Ballad of John and Yoko” (see entry 42), this 1969 Harrison composition is one of his best. His stinging guitar work is at times reminiscent of Clapton, especially on the solo, where he plays his rosewood Telecaster through a Leslie cabinet, his preferred effect of the period. </p> <p>In addition to guitar, Harrison plays organ and, by his own account, the buoyant bass line. “That was me going nuts,” he said of the bass work in a 1987 interview. “I’m doing exactly what I do on the guitar.”<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>27. Michelle</strong><br /> <strong><em>Rubber Soul</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>Another great example of McCartney’s innate gift for songwriting/composing, “Michelle” features, in its intro and elsewhere throughout the song, the previously mentioned standard “minor-drop” progression heard in “And Your Bird Can Sing” and “All My Loving” (see entries 7 and 16). </p> <p>The song also includes some rather clever and original harmonic twists and turns, such as the use of, in the second bar of the verse progression, the dominant-seven-sharp-nine (7#9) chord pointed out earlier in regard to Harrison’s “Till There Was You” solo, which, in both songs, is voiced “widely,” low to high: 1(root)-5-3(10)-b7-#9. Lennon, by the way, would later also employ this same chord voicing in “Sexy Sadie,” a chord that he, McCartney and Harrison all learned early on from a friend and local guitar-hero in Liverpool named Jim Gretty and dubbed “the Gretty chord.”<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>26. Cry for a Shadow</strong><br /> <strong><em>Anthology 1</em> (1995)</strong></p> <p>In 1961, unknown and looking for a break, the Beatles supported British rock and roll singer Tony Sheridan on a recording date in Hamburg. While there, they recorded two tracks of their own, including this Harrison-Lennon guitar-instrumental written in the style of U.K. pop group the Shadows (hence, the title). </p> <p>The recording provides early evidence of Lennon’s steady and dynamic rhythm guitar work, as well as McCartney’s melodic skills on the bass, which he had just begun playing. But it’s Harrison who shines, making the most of the trite melody with double-stop licks and generous use of the whammy bar on his Strat-style Futurama electric guitar. </p> <p>He ends the song with a major sixth—C6, specifically—a voicing that would become a signature Beatles coda on songs like “She Loves You,” “No Reply” and “Help!” (see entry 40).</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/m1VMr29eUeo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>25. Hey Bulldog</strong><br /> <strong><em>Yellow Submarine</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>McCartney’s lead guitar work had characterized most of the great solo guitar moments on the Beatles’ records during 1966 and 1967. But with “Hey Bulldog,” recorded in February 1968, Harrison came charging back with a guitar solo that’s heavier and hairier than just about anything in the group’s catalog. </p> <p>For the song, he played his red 1964 SG Standard, using a fuzz box (most likely his Tone Bender) to give his sound a snarl befitting the song’s title. Recalls engineer Geoff Emerick, “His amp was turned up really loud, and he used one of his new fuzz boxes, which made his guitar absolutely scream." Equally outstanding is Paul McCartney’s buoyant bass work, which is practically a lead instrument on its own.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>24. I’ve Just Seen a Face</strong><br /> <strong><em>Rubber Soul</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>Written by McCartney and musically inspired by the skiffle movement that was popular in the U.K. in the late Fifties and early Sixties, this up-tempo knee-slapper features Lennon, Harrison and McCartney all playing acoustic guitars, with Ringo Starr providing percussion (brushed snare drum and overdubbed maracas). </p> <p>The lyrical instrumental intro features a bass-line chord-melody, played (most likely by Harrison) on a 12-string, which serves to octave-double the bass-line melody, over which McCartney and Lennon flatpick a single-note melody based on double-stops, mostly sixth intervals, played up and down the G and high E strings in a quick, unbroken triplet rhythm, beautifully outlining the underlying chords with ascending and descending note pairs.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>23. Don’t Bother Me</strong><br /> <strong><em>With the Beatles</em> (1963)</strong></p> <p>Harrison’s first solo songwriting effort for the Beatles sounds like nothing else in the group’s catalog. With its moody minor chords, propulsive drum beat and tremolo guitar, this 1964 track has more in common with California surf music than it does the American rock and soul that inspired the Beatles’ music at the time. </p> <p>The tremolo—provided by Harrison’s Vox AC30—gives the song an air of menace appropriate to the song’s title, and its use here marks the first time the group used an electronic effect on a finished recording.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>22. Octopus’s Garden</strong><br /> <strong><em>Abbey Road</em> (1969)</strong></p> <p>By 1969, George Harrison had put down his sitar to focus on his first love, the guitar. The results are apparent on <em>Abbey Road</em>, which features his most fluid and confident playing to date. </p> <p>On “Octopus’s Garden,” one of Ringo Starr’s rare Beatles-era tunes, Harrison calls on his country/rockabilly influences for the first time since the band’s pre-psychedelic days. The intro is a slick masterpiece in the major pentatonic scale, the same territory Dickey Betts would later visit on “Blue Sky.” The song’s fun, twangy solo could sit snugly among James Burton’s work on Merle Haggard’s late-Sixties albums.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/CUFcfXgW_dQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>21. Till There Was You</strong><br /> <strong><em>With the Beatles</em> (1963)</strong></p> <p>With this charming early cover of a love song from the popular 1957 Broadway musical play and 1962 feature film <em>The Music Man</em>, the Beatles demonstrated their stylistic versatility as they authoritatively breeze through the song’s harmonically sophisticated, jazz-like chord progression. </p> <p>Harrison’s solo break conveys a musical savvy on par with that of a veteran jazz improviser, as he strongly outlines the underlying chord progression, producing a perfect melodic counterpoint with the bass line by using arpeggios and targeting non-root chord tones, such as the third or ninth, on each chord change. </p> <p>Also impressive is his incorporation of two-, three- and four-note chords into what would otherwise be a predominantly single-note solo to create jazz-guitar-style chord-melody phrases, as well as his superimposition over the five chord, C7, of a daringly dissonant Gb7#9 chord (voiced, low to high, Gb Db Bb E A), a trick known in the language of jazz as a tritone substitution. </p> <hr /> <p><strong>20. Good Morning Good Morning</strong><br /> <strong><em>Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band</em> (1967)</strong></p> <p>Let’s face it: There aren’t many ferocious, brash and screaming guitar solos in the Beatles’ catalog. That said, Paul McCartney’s razor-sharp solo on “Good Morning Good Morning” is all that and a bag of chips. </p> <p>The 13-second-long treble fest, played on a Fender Esquire through a Selmer amp, features a strong East Indian vibe, perhaps a nod to George Harrison’s burgeoning fascination with Indian religion and music. </p> <p>Like its stylistic predecessor, McCartney’s “Taxman” guitar solo (see entry 3), “Good Morning Good Morning” incorporates open-string drone notes and rapid-fire descending hammer-pull slides, mostly along one string, in this case, the B string.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>19. I Need You</strong><br /> <strong><em>Help!</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>By 1965, the Beatles were making noticeable strides in their arrangements and instrumentation. A prime example is “I Need You,” one of two George Harrison compositions to appear on <em>Help!</em> </p> <p>The recording represents Harrison’s first use of a volume pedal. The guitar’s dramatic, almost pedal-steel-like volume swells—which frame Harrison’s curt, suspended chords—only add to the song’s wistful lyrical content. </p> <p>The volume pedal was a step up for the band; the guitar swells heard on “Baby’s in Black,” which was tracked the previous summer, were the result of John Lennon turning the volume knob on Harrison’s 1963 Gretsch Tennessean as Harrison played it.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>18. You Can’t Do That</strong><br /> <strong><em>A Hard Day’s Night</em> (1964)</strong></p> <p>On February 25, 1964, the Beatles entered the studio with an exciting new piece of gear: a Fireglo 1963 Rickenbacker 360/12. George Harrison had received the guitar only 17 days earlier when the band was in New York shooting its initial Ed Sullivan Show appearance.</p> <p>The song’s chiming intro riff, with its middle-finger hammer-ons from a minor third to a major third within the chord, offered a taste of what lay ahead for the guitar, which would see heavy action onstage and in the studio through 1965. John Lennon performed the guitar solo on his new Jetglo 1964 Rickenbacker.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/0EYa5YkJu4Q" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>17. Let It Be</strong><br /> <strong><em>Let It Be</em> (1970)</strong></p> <p>As Beatles obsessives know, there are three versions of George Harrison’s solo for this track: the original, recorded in January 1969 with his rosewood Telecaster (available on 2003’s <em>Let It Be… Naked</em>); the second, recorded the following April with his Tele through a Leslie rotary speaker (released on the single “Let It Be” in 1970); and a third version recorded in January 1970 using his “Lucy” Gibson Les Paul through a Tone Bender (released on <em>Let It Be</em>). </p> <p>Nice as the first two are, they have nothing on the third, a blistering performance that raises the song’s drama to a higher level of emotion.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Izts5y5Fw8Y" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>16. All My Loving</strong><br /> <strong><em>With the Beatles</em> (1963)</strong></p> <p>For this pop song’s thumping, quasi–jump blues, rockabilly-style groove, Harrison crafted a convincingly authentic Chet Atkins/Carl Perkins–like solo break that clearly demonstrates his familiarity with that Fifties Nashville style of electric guitar soloing. </p> <p>Employing hybrid picking (pick-and-fingers technique), the guitarist acknowledges and gravitates toward the underlying chords in his melodic phrases, employing country-style “walk-ups” and “walk-downs” and plucking double-stops (pairs of notes) to sweetly and effectively outline the chord changes with a pleasing thematic continuity. </p> <p>Lennon contributed an energetic rhythm guitar part, one that he later expressed being rather proud of, which propels the groove with tireless waves of triplet chord strums, similar to those heard in the Crystals’ song “Da Doo Ron Ron.”<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>15. Ticket to Ride</strong><br /> <strong><em>Help!</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>This proto-heavy-metal track was the first Beatles recording to feature McCartney on lead guitar and the last on which George Harrison used his Rickenbacker 12-string. McCartney plays the note-bending fills at the end of the bridges and on the outro, while Harrison plays the song’s arpeggiated riff and Lennon handles rhythm guitar. </p> <p>But the heaviest part might just be the droning open-string A notes that Harrison overdubbed on the verses, suggestive of the classical Indian music he would begin to explore later that year.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>14. Dig a Pony</strong><br /> <strong><em>Let It Be</em> (1970)</strong></p> <p>The song’s driving, bluesy riff is as durable as any that Muddy Waters ever wrote, but the 1969 recording is also notable for Harrison’s smoky guitar work on his rosewood Telecaster—from the double-stop licks on the verses to his confident and impeccably developed solo. </p> <p>You can hear Harrison’s signature style beginning to develop here, with the smoothness of his lines pointing toward the fluid slide style he would develop over the following year. His guitar tone is also very similar to that of “Octopus’ Garden” (see entry 22) recorded later that year, for which he may have also used the rosewood Tele.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/kkzKSORYtVk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>13. Nowhere Man</strong><br /> <strong><em>Rubber Soul</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>According to Harrison, he and Lennon perform the song’s bright, chiming solo together in unison, using their matching Sonic Blue Fender Stratocasters. </p> <p>Lennon also revealed to guitarist Earl Slick, during the making of Lennon’s 1980 album <em>Double Fantasy</em>, that the solo was recorded through a pair of small amps with a single microphone positioned between them. The Strats’ trebly nature was further accentuated on “Nowhere Man” by boosting the high frequencies via the mixing console. </p> <p>“We wanted very trebly guitars,” McCartney says. “They’re among the most trebly guitars I’ve ever heard on record.”<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>12. I Feel Fine</strong><br /> <strong><em>1962–1966</em> (1973)</strong></p> <p>Audio feedback was just an annoying electronic phenomenon until the Beatles used it as an attention-getting way to start “I Feel Fine.” The song itself is a rather standard riff rocker inspired by Bobby Parker’s 1961 R&amp;B hit, “Watch Your Step,” but its distinctive intro came about by accident when McCartney played a low A note on his bass as Lennon was leaning his Gibson J-160E acoustic-electric against his amp. </p> <p>The note set Lennon’s guitar vibrating, and its proximity to the amp caused the sound to feed back. “We went, ‘What’s that? Voodoo!’ ” McCartney recalls. Yes, that too. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/fZUb_NJZ4To" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>11. Blackbird</strong><br /> <strong><em>The Beatles</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>McCartney recorded this beautiful song’s gentle, fingerstyle acoustic accompaniment on his Martin D-28. </p> <p>He creates an elegant, classical-guitar-style chord movement by using two-finger chord shapes exclusively, most of which form 10th intervals on the A and B strings, in conjunction with the open G-string note, which he picks in opposition to the chord shapes and employs as a droning common tone. </p> <p>His unique fingerpicking technique relies largely on his thumb, which he uses to pick bass notes, and index finger, which he uses for pretty much everything else, employing brushed downstrokes and upstrokes and often brushing across two or more strings. </p> <p>This often results in notes that are “ghosted,” or barely articulated, a “flaw” that is a testament to his innate musicality—McCartney’s touch is charming and greatly contributes to the overall feel of the song. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/6c2kJrWqZqc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>10. “Something”</strong><br /> <strong><em>Abbey Road</em> (1969)</strong></p> <p>Ironically, while the Beatles were breaking apart in 1969, George Harrison was coming into his own as a songwriter and guitarist. </p> <p>His <em>Abbey Road</em> contribution “Something” is among his finest songs, and his guitar playing here and throughout the album is masterful. Harrison’s mellifluous lead lines, in particular, are more expressive than anything he’d done before, demonstrating his newfound confidence and evolving connection to his instrument and creative muse. </p> <p>Performed with his “Lucy” 1957 Gibson Les Paul played through a Leslie speaker, the solo simmers as Harrison turns up the heat on his melody and dynamics, then cools it down with bluesy restraint. </p> <p>“George came into his own on <em>Abbey Road</em>,” says Geoff Emerick, who engineered this and other <em>Abbey Road</em> sessions. “For the first time he was speaking out and doing exactly what he wanted to do. And of course he wrote these beautiful songs and we got a great new guitar sound.” </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/mBjt7EsWbWE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>09. I Want You (She’s So Heavy)</strong><br /> <strong><em>Abbey Road</em> (1969)</strong></p> <p>John Lennon was composing some of the heaviest rock and roll in the Beatles’ catalog in 1969, and this song—true to its title—is among the most crushing, thanks to an abundance of doubled and overdubbed guitar lines that give it some serious sonic heft. </p> <p>Lennon wrote the song for Yoko Ono, with whom he was newly in love, and the result is a spellbinding exercise in obsessive repetition, from its lyrics—consisting almost entirely of the title and roughly five other words—to the ominous guitar lines that recur throughout it. </p> <p>Clocking in at 7:47, the song is also one of the Beatles’ longest. </p> <p>And although it consists of nothing more than a verse and a chorus repeated several times, it is rhythmically one of their most intricate tunes, switching between 12/8 meter and 4/4 rhythms alternately played bluesy and with a double-time rock beat. Few other artists could have made so much with so little. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/uo1i9uTaCFQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>08. I’m Only Sleeping</strong><br /> <strong><em>Revolver</em> (1966)</strong></p> <p>Harrison’s startling backward guitar solo on this Lennon-penned song is one of his greatest guitar moments on 1966’s <em>Revolver</em>.</p> <p>Over the previous year, he had used an expression pedal to create a volume-swelling sound, similar to a reverse-tape effect, on several tracks, including “Yes It Is” and “I Need You” (see entry 19). </p> <p>But for “I’m Only Sleeping,” Harrison wanted to hear his guitar truly in reverse, a decision undoubtedly inspired by Lennon’s own retrograde vocals on “Rain,” recorded earlier the same month, April 1966.</p> <p>Rather than simply improvising guitar lines while the track was played backward, he prepared lead lines and a five-bar solo for the song and had George Martin transcribe them for him in reverse. Harrison then performed the lines while the tape was running back to front.</p> <p>The result is a solo that surges up from the song’s murky depths, suffusing it with a smeared, surreal, dreamlike ambience. Within a year, Harrison’s idea would be copied by such psychedelic rock acts of the day as the Electric Prunes, who employed it on their 1966 hit “I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night),” and Jimi Hendrix, who used it to great effect on “Castles Made of Sand.” </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/1MMDugt8ZRk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>07. And Your Bird Can Sing</strong><br /> <strong><em>Revolver</em> (1966)</strong></p> <p>This middle-period Beatles gem, written primarily by Lennon, features Harrison and McCartney on impeccably crafted and performed harmony-lead guitar melodies, a pop-rock arranging approach that was still in its infancy in 1966. (It would later be employed extensively in the southern rock genre by bands such as the Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd as well as hard rock and metal acts like Thin Lizzy, Boston and Iron Maiden.) </p> <p>Together, Harrison and McCartney’s individual single-note harmony lead guitar parts form, for the most part, diatonic (scale-based) third intervals in the key of E. (Lennon performed his rhythm guitar part as if the song were in the key of D, using a capo at the second fret to transpose it up a whole step, as he did on “Norwegian Wood,” “Nowhere Man” and “Julia.”) </p> <p>The quick half-step and whole-step bends that Harrison and McCartney incorporate into their parts here and there in lock-step fashion are particularly sweet sounding. Heard together, they have the precise intonation of a country pedal-steel part performed by a seasoned Nashville pro. </p> <p>The harmonized lines that the two guitarists play over the “minor-drop” progression during the song’s bridge section, beginning at 1:05, reveal their musical depth and sophistication and command over harmony beyond the basic “I-IV-V” pop songwriting fodder.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/f_P71QAEZKs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>06. A Hard Day’s Night</strong><br /> <strong><em>A Hard Day’s Night</em> (1964)</strong></p> <p>It lasts all of roughly three seconds, but the sustained opening chord to this classic Beatlemania track is one of rock and roll’s greatest and most recognizable musical moments. </p> <p>Bright and bold as a tolling bell, it loudly announced in 1964 not just the start of the Beatles’ latest album but also the dawning of a cultural transformation that owed nearly everything to the group’s influence. </p> <p>The song was written to order for the Beatles’ feature-length film debut, <em>A Hard Day’s Night</em>. According to George Martin, “We knew it would open both the film and the soundtrack LP, so we wanted a particularly strong and effective beginning.” </p> <p>The dense harmonic cluster that Martin and the group created is the result of four instruments sounding simultaneously: Harrison on his 12-string Rickenbacker and Lennon on his Gibson J-160E acoustic, both strumming an Fadd9 chord (with a G on the high E); McCartney on his Hofner 500/1 bass, plucking a D note (probably at the 12th fret of his D string); and Martin on grand piano, playing low D and G notes. </p> <p>The resulting chord has been described as, technically, G7add9sus4, but to millions of eager listeners in 1964, it was simply the sound of an electrifying new era.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/70QfHtKdh_0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>05. Revolution</strong><br /> <strong><em>1966–1970</em> (1973)</strong></p> <p>At the time that this 1968 track was recorded, distortion was well established as an electronic effect for guitarists, but no one had ever used it to the extreme that the Beatles did here. </p> <p>According to Geoff Emerick, Lennon had been attempting to create distortion by cranking up his amp during sessions for “Revolution 1,” the slower version of the song, which the Beatles recorded in May and June of 1968. </p> <p>Emerick had abetted his efforts by overloading the preamp on the microphone used to record Lennon’s guitar, but even this wasn’t enough for Lennon, who told the engineer, “ ‘No, no, I want that guitar to sound dirtier!” </p> <p>By the July recording of “Revolution,” Emerick determined that he could distort the signal even more by patching Lennon and Harrison’s guitars directly into the mixing console via direct boxes, overloading the input preamp and sending the signal into a second overloaded preamp. </p> <p>“I remember walking into the control room when they were cutting that,” recalls Abbey Road engineer Ken Scott, “and there was John, Paul and George, all in the control room, all plugged in—just playing straight through the board. All of the guitar distortion was gotten just by overloading the mic amps in the desk.” </p> <p>As Emerick himself notes in his 2006 memoir <em>Here, There and Everywhere</em>, it was no mean feat: the overloaded preamps could have caused the studio’s tube-powered mixer to overheat. “I couldn’t help but think: If I was the studio manager and saw this going on, I’d fire myself.”</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/kk6BAIy1MeU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>04. Here Comes the Sun</strong><br /> <strong><em>Abbey Road</em> (1969)</strong></p> <p>Harrison’s jangly chord-melody playing on this song is exemplary. Using first- and second-position “cowboy” chords with a capo at the seventh fret, the guitarist loosely doubles and supports his catchy, syncopated vocal melody by working it into the top part of his acoustic-guitar accompaniment. </p> <p>He does this by using a “picky-strummy” technique (similar to what Neil Young would later employ in his song “The Needle and the Damage Done”), in which the pick hand gently swings back and forth over the strings in an unbroken down-up-down-up movement, like a pendulum viewed sideways. </p> <p>In doing so, Harrison selectively grazes certain strings on various downbeats and eighth-note upbeats, resulting in a seemingly casual mix of full-chord strums, single notes and two-note clusters that form a pleasing stand-alone guitar part that could easily appeal as a solo instrumental performance. </p> <p>The high register achieved by using the capo so far up the neck—the song is played as if it were in the key of D but sounds in A, a perfect fifth higher—makes the guitar sound almost like a mandolin, an effect similar to that achieved by Bob Dylan on “Blowin’ in the Wind” (also performed capo-7).</p> <p>Also noteworthy are the ringing and musically compelling arpeggio breaks that punctuate the song in various spots, such as after the first verse (immediately following the lyric “It’s all right”) and during the bridge/interlude section, behind the words “sun, sun, sun, here it comes.” </p> <p>Harrison employs a highly syncopated “1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2, 1-2” phrasing scheme in the first instance and “1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2” in the latter, creating a rhythmic “hiccup” that resets the song’s eighth-note pulse. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/n6j4TGqVl5g" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>03. Taxman</strong><br /> <strong><em>Revolver</em> (1966)</strong></p> <p>Bassist Paul McCartney had first demonstrated his six-string talents on 1965’s <em>Help!,</em> where he played lead guitar on several tracks and performed on acoustic guitar for his song “Yesterday.” </p> <p>But McCartney would truly come into his own as a guitarist with this cut from 1966’s <em>Revolver</em>. His stinging solo, performed on his 1962 Epiphone Casino through his cream-colored 1964 Bassman amp, is a stunningly sophisticated creation, drawn from an Indian-derived Dorian mode and featuring descending pull-offs that recall Jeff Beck’s work on the Yardbirds’ “Shapes of Things,” released earlier that year. </p> <p>How the solo came to be played by McCartney—and not Harrison, who wrote the song and was the Beatles’ lead guitarist—is a story in itself. </p> <p>According to Geoff Emerick, Harrison struggled for two hours to craft a solo before producer George Martin suggested he let McCartney give it a try. McCartney’s solo, Emerick says, “was so good that George Martin had me fly it in again during the song’s fadeout.” Portions of it, played backward, were also applied to the Revolver track “Tomorrow Never Knows.” </p> <p>Apparently, Harrison didn’t feel slighted. At the time of making <em>Revolver</em>, he was ambivalent about his musical ambitions and pondering Indian mysticism, to which he would eventually convert. </p> <p>“In those days,” he said, “for me to be allowed to do my one song on the album, it was like, ‘Great. I don’t care who plays what. This is my big chance.’ I was pleased to have him play that bit on ‘Taxman.’ If you notice, he did like a little Indian bit on it for me.”</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/YtksJEj2Keg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>02. While My Guitar Gently Weeps</strong><br /> <strong><em>The Beatles</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>“While My Guitar Gently Weeps” has become one of George Harrison’s signature tunes, but when he wrote the song in 1968, he couldn’t get his band mates to take an interest in it. </p> <p>Frustrated, he asked his pal Eric Clapton to sit in on the recording session for the track, hoping his presence would put the group on its best behavior. Clapton accepted the invitation and delivered a performance that remains a high point in the Beatles’ catalog. </p> <p>For the session, Clapton played a 1957 Les Paul “Goldtop” that had been refinished in red. He’d purchased the guitar in New York City sometime in the Sixties and in 1968 gifted it to Harrison, who nicknamed it Lucy. </p> <p>The guitar was already in Harrison’s possession at the time of this recording. When he picked up Clapton to take him to the studio for the Beatles session, the famous guitarist was empty handed. “I didn’t have a guitar,” Clapton recalls. “I just got into the car with him. So he gave me [Lucy] to play.”</p> <p>Harrison was concerned that Clapton’s solo was “not Beatley enough,” as the group was by the time of this recording well known for its sonic innovation. </p> <p>During the song’s mixing stage, the group had engineer Chris Thomas send Clapton’s signal through Abbey Road’s ADT—Automatic Double Tracking—tape-delay system and manually alter the speed of the delay throughout Clapton’s performance, making the pitch sound chorused. (The effect is especially noticeable in the final measure of the second middle-eight, after the line “no one alerted you.”) Ironically, while the solo is one of Clapton’s most famous, he was never credited on the recording. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/F3RYvO2X0Oo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>01. “The End”</strong><br /> <strong><em>Abbey Road</em> (1969)</strong></p> <p>A song called “The End” might seem an ironic place to start a list of the Beatles’ 50 greatest guitar moments. But the round-robin solos that bring the track to its exhilarating peak are without question the group’s most powerful statement expressed through the guitar.</p> <p>Here, for a mere 35 seconds, three childhood friends and longtime band mates—Paul McCartney, George Harrison and John Lennon—trade licks on a song that represents, musically and literally, the Beatles’ last stand as a rock group before they broke up the following year. “The End” is the grand finale in the medley of tunes that make up much of <em>Abbey Road</em>’s second side. </p> <p>As such, it’s designed to deliver maximum emotional punch, and it succeeds completely, thanks in great part to the sound of McCartney, Harrison and Lennon rocking out on their guitars, as they did in their first, embryonic attempts to make rock and roll some 12 years earlier. </p> <p>“They knew they had to finish the album up with something big,” recalls Geoff Emerick, the famed Abbey Road engineer who worked on the 1969 album. </p> <p>“Originally, they couldn’t decide if John or George would do the solo, and eventually they said, ‘Well, let’s have the three of us do the solo.’ It was Paul’s song, so Paul was gonna go first, followed by George and John. It was unbelievable. And it was all done live and in one take.”</p> <p>Much of the song’s power comes from the sense that the Beatles are making up their solos spontaneously, playing off one another in the heat of the moment. As it turns out, that’s partly accurate. </p> <p>“They’d worked out roughly what they were going to do for the solos,” Emerick says, “but the execution of it was just superb. It sounds spontaneous. When they were done, everyone beamed. I think in their minds they went back to their youths and those great memories of working together.”</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/5bcxHlMxnSY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beatles">The Beatles</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/george-harrison">George Harrison</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/john-lennon">John Lennon</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/paul-mccartney">Paul McCartney</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/fab-50-beatles-50-greatest-guitar-moments#comments Articles Damian Fanelli George Harrison GW Archive GWLinotte January 2014 John Lennon Paul McCartney The Beatles Guitar World Lists News Features Magazine Mon, 06 Jul 2015 14:03:43 +0000 Christopher Scapelliti, Damian Fanelli, Jimmy Brown 20443 at http://www.guitarworld.com Touch of Grey: Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia Talks Gear, His Near-Fatal Illness and 'In The Dark' http://www.guitarworld.com/jerry-garcia-discusses-his-gear-near-fatal-illness-and-new-grateful-dead-album-dark <!--paging_filter--><p><strong>Here's an interview with The Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia from the December 1987 issue of <em>Guitar World</em>, which featured Joe Perry on the cover. The original story by John Swenson started on page 34 and ran with the headline, "Back From the Dead: A little grey around the edges but still as out there as ever, Dead Head Jerry Garcia is pickin’ his way to prosperity."</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/photo-gallery-guitar-world-covers-throughout-years-1987">To see the Joe Perry cover—and all the GW covers from 1987—click here.</a></p> <p>Jerry Garcia looked around the Grateful Dead’s rehearsal studio in San Rafael, California, and smiled. “It’s good to not die,” said Garcia, who suffered a nearly fatal diabetic coma in July of ’86. </p> <p>The legendary guitarist whose mercurial improvisations are the life’s blood of the Grateful Dead’s music has made a miraculous recovery from an illness that at first left him incapable of walking, speaking clearly or playing.</p> <p>“I remember the moment in the hospital when he was recuperating,” said Dead drummer Mickey Hart. “Once he came out of his coma, you could see that he has life back in him,” The first thing he asked for was his acoustic guitar. He must play, he’s an animal. He’s like a thirsty animal, like a shark, always eating, always playing. If he can breathe, he’ll play.”</p> <p>Garcia insisted that he was never aware of being seriously ill. “For me it wasn’t one of those near-death experiences,” he explained. “It was very weird, it had a sort of science-fiction quality to it. But it wasn’t painful, it was cerebral. The weird part of it was that it took a while for me to get to the point where I was understood. I had to fish for everything. </p> <p>"It was like everything was in random access, I know all the words, but I can’t get it out of myself. So for the first few days it was mostly sort of Joycean inversions of language, and then after a while I started to remember how it worked. But I had to do that with everything. They had to teach me how to walk again, and playing the guitar, I had to do that stuff all over again. But it was all there. I mean the bits and pieces where all there, but I didn’t have ready access to all of them.”</p> <p>Within three months Garcia was writing songs and playing with his solo group, the Jerry Garcia Band. In mid-December the Dead returned to the stage, opening with “Touch of Grey,” the celebration of aging that Garcia wrote a few years ago with lyricist Robert Hunter. </p> <p>The concert was a triumph. Instead of falling apart after Garcia’s illness, the Dead re-emerged with new energy. The group went back on the road, finished a concert film they’d been working on for years, then recorded <em>In The Dark,</em> their first album in seven years, and possibly their most commercially successful one yet.</p> <p>To simulate live conditions, the band recorded the album in a Marin County theater. “That’s how the energy got into it,” said Garcia. “It’s a nice little theater and it has great sound. We rented it, moved out stuff in and set it up just as though we were playing live. We didn’t have an audience, but it was that same mood. We did the tracks as though we were performing full out, so on some of those tunes I didn’t replace any solos.”</p> <p>Garcia and Dead soundman John Cutler produced the album, and the results are astonishing. </p> <p>The compression of the guitars sounds on the recording is unlike anything they’ve managed in the studio over the years. “The arrangements are read,” said Garcia. “The mix is my understanding about how Grateful Dead music works. A lot of the producers we’ve worked with haven’t understood how Grateful Dead music works. There’s real structure to it, there’s real architecture to it and there’s real conversation, like in a string quartet, to it</p> <p>“The instruments speak to each other. But unless you mix it so that that’s intelligible, then it’s nonsense. That’s the sense of the music, it’s something I can’t communicate to a producer, but I can hear it.</p> <p>“One of the things the Grateful Dead can do is provide that energy,” said Garcia. “The music is mostly pretty minimalist, it’s just what’s in the band—rhythm guitar, keyboards, bass, drums and lead guitar. It’s classic rock ‘n’ roll in configuration, but the style is all Grateful Dead. We get that stuff from everywhere, and that urgency is what the band can do. That’s what we’ve tried to get on record all these years and failed miserably at.”</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/8YSTeJOxiaw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>The other band members agree that <em>In the Dark</em> is their first truly representative recording. “I’m really impressed with it,” said Hart. “I can listen to it, and normally I can’t listen to Grateful Dead records. We were able to capture the spirit of the band for the first time.”</p> <p>Bob Weir confirmed that the group’s relief over Garcia’s recovery spurred them on. “He bounces off his little brush with death,” said Weir, “and the momentum that he picked up carried through to the recording.”</p> <p>That crystal-clear guitar tone did not come from any specific recording technique. “The difference is intent,” he explained. “Usually on a record I do my solos toward the end of the record, but I have this problem with my own playing. I can play okay but I can’t judge myself. When I function as a producer I’m a pair of ears and I can do that pretty well. As a performer I can perform pretty well, but I can’t do them both at the same time. So I’ve always had problems judging my own work.</p> <p>“Classically, I say, ‘Ah, it’s good enough,’ I’ll do however many takes and say, ‘Ah, that’ll do.’ Then later on it turns out to be a little lame, maybe, not as good as it could have been, not what I really wanted it to be. It’s like an afterthought because it’s the thing that I end up caring the least about from a producer’s point of view.</p> <p>“The thing about a guitar solo is, the guitar’s register is right in the human ear space, it’s like the human voice, you can almost not bury it. It penetrates through every cut. The smaller the speakers get, the louder the guitar gets. And so it’s not a problem to mix, never a problem to get on the tape, it’s one of the easiest things in the world to record. Everything else can be a problem.</p> <p>“The guitar solos on Grateful Dead records have suffered from neglect, especially, just because it was me responsible for them. That’s just the way I worked. But on this record, part of it I was able to overcome because we played live, and I actually played the solos when he laid down the tracks, so they had the energy they needed. On things where I replaced them and did them again or did a different sort of solo or left a hole for a solo, I was more concerned with making the solo concise and intelligent and work well, so I spent more time. This is me conquering the problem.”</p> <p>Garcia admitted to finding himself playing things on <em>In The Dark</em> that surprised him. “But I always used to do that,” he quickly added. “I remember that much about my own playing. I don’t invent that much of it, a lot of it invents itself. It all comes from spending hours with an instrument, you have to put in the time, and the more time you in the more access you have to the whole file of guitar possibilities, because all music is a collection of possibilities.”</p> <hr /> Garcia and the band had several years to play much of the new material live and develop its arrangements before making the record. <p>Garcia pointed out that he never played “Touch of Grey” the same way twice before it was recorded. When asked if the recoded version represents his idea of the ideal guitar sounds, he answered, “It has enough contrast with the other elements in the mix so that it comes through on its own. </p> <p>I selected the sound based on what it does with the other things, so it sort of fits in, it has sort of a bell-like top and that fits in with the bells and metal-like top end on the track. The process of selecting the tone on the guitar is an aesthetic process like any other, so you try a lot of different things. Most of the things I’ve tried I’ve tried in live performances, so selecting this tone was not a problem; and the band has gotten very, very good. On a great night, sometimes miraculous things happen. But for a record, it’s an okay record.” What a long, strange trip it’s been … but of course, the Dead is more a live band than anything else, so you have to see this statement in context.</p> <p>As usual, Garcia played his customized guitar on <em>In The Dark.</em> “I have one custom guitar which I play almost exclusively,” Garcia said. “I have others—sometimes you want a little texture, kind of a different sound or something My guitar is a mutation between a classic Fender Stratocaster guitar, which I played for years, and a Gibson solid-body like an SG or a Les Paul. It contains all sounds of the basic classic rock ‘n’ roll guitars. It does what I want it to do,” he smiles. </p> <p>“It’s not really me—I don’t design guitars or any of that kind of stuff, since I don’t have that kind of mind. The guy that made this guitar, Doug Irwin, is a luthier, a guitar-builder. His guitars all have great hands. My hand falls upon one of them and it says ‘play me,’ and it’s one of those things not all guitars do. Some guitars definitely don’t do it, but his guitars do that and it’s just a special thing. </p> <p>"It’s not entirely a matter of balance, it’s not a matter of dimensions, of measurable stuff, it’s something indefinable, but my hand loves it. There’s almost like a physical attraction. The man’s work is museum quality, the workmanship and the detail—it’s a beautiful instrument. But even the aesthetics of it are not what make me like them, it’s just the way it feels in my hand. I don’t know what it is, he doesn’t even know what it is, but he just builds them the way he thinks I would like them, and it works perfectly.”</p> <p>Garcia found Irwin by the same process of serendipity that he uses to explain a lot of the fortuitous coincidences he’s experienced. “He was working for a friend of mine, I picked up a guitar that he had built the neck for at a guitar store and said ‘Wow! Where did this come from? I gotta have this guitar.’ I bought the guitar, and that’s the first guitar I’d gotten where he built the neck and then I said, ‘Who’s the guy who made this neck?’ and the friends of mine that he was working for said, ‘This guy over here.’ I commissioned him to build me a guitar, and he did, and I played that guitar for most of the seventies. </p> <p>"When he delivered it to me, I said, ‘Now I want you to build me what you think would be the ultimate guitar. I don’t care when you deliver it, I don’t care how much it’s gonna cost or anything else.’ A couple of months later he told me it would cost about three grand, which at the time was a lot for a guitar, since it was the early Seventies. He delivered the guitar to me in ’78, eight years later. I’d forgotten I’d paid for it.</p> <p>“Whatever the guitar says to me, I play.”</p> <p><strong>The Dead Play Dylan</strong></p> <p>Most bands who’ve survived the near-fatal illness of their lead guitarist, then gone on to make their first record in seven years would pat themselves on the back and call it a day. But not the Grateful Dead. They decided to go out on a mind-bending mini-tour of the nation’s biggest stadiums with Bob Dylan. “It’s serendipity,” said the Dead’s lead guitarist, Jerry Garcia. </p> <hr /> “Of course, it has to do with everybody being willing and wanting to do this. <p>"The thing of where you almost lose a guy, whatever it was that anybody might have been reluctant to do before, it’s like, ‘we may never get a chance to do something like this again, let’s go for it.’ There is a certain opening up, loosening of that kind of spirit of adventure.”</p> <p>Dylan, dubbed “Spike” because “we already have one Bob in the band,” was an ethereal presence in breaks during rehearsals at “Club Dead,” the band’s funky Marin County office-studio complex. As soon as the band set up to play, though, he crackled with a kind of musical electricity, his body coiled and radiating pure energy.</p> <p>Once they start playing, the Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan are such a natural combination that you wonder why it took them this long to get together. In fact, the Dead have been playing Dylan songs for years, and the feeling is that these sessions recall Dylan’s momentous <em>Basement Tapes,</em> recordings with the Band in the late Sixties.</p> <p>“His approach is very much like ours,” said Bob Weir. “He’s loose and we just rattle around from song to song.”</p> <p>“It’s hard to describe,” said Mickey Hart. “He’s a great musician, one of the most important poets of the century. He brings this whole feeling with him, his smell, musically. We’re playing all kinds of songs. We treat it all like Grateful Dead music.”</p> <p>Together they cover a staggering range of material—folk, blues, rock, jug band music. Dylan’s ragged, insistent guitar strumming lays a new rhythmic foundation for the Dead, creating wonderful, surprising results on songs as varied as “Tangled Up in Blue,” “All Along the Watchtower,” “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” “Serve Somebody,” “The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest” and “Chimes of Freedom.” For encores, Dylan joins the Dead on “Touch of Grey.”</p> <p>“A lot of the songs I know,” said Garcia, “but his versions of them now are sometimes very different from the ones I know. It’s a lot of fun. You get three or four of those serious Dylan rushes every day, that’s the fun part, and it’s authentic, it’s the real thing.”</p> <p>Garcia realized that there was a certain amount of rick to going out with Dylan. “Every band’s got its chemistry, got its special mojo, adding one new element to it can sometimes really screw up what’s there. Sometimes it can help, though, if you know enough about the music and you’re familiar enough with the guys that are playing.”</p> <p>Playing with Dylan, Garcia also tried a little steel guitar and banjo, instruments he hasn’t “really touched” for the last 10 years. “We’re doing this voluntarily,” concluded Garcia. </p> <p>“We’re doing this consciously by way of an experiment. We know that it’s only gonna last so long, and maybe be an opening for future possibilities, too. There’s no simple way to characterize what’s going on here, because Bob’s got his own weight, there’s too much to him to find out about in a few weeks. He’s packing 20 years of stuff all by himself.”</p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/grateful-dead">Grateful Dead</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/jerry-garcia-discusses-his-gear-near-fatal-illness-and-new-grateful-dead-album-dark#comments Grateful Dead Jerry Garcia The Grateful Dead Interviews Features Magazine Sun, 05 Jul 2015 16:21:55 +0000 John Swenson 12789 at http://www.guitarworld.com With 'Workingman’s Dead,' the Grateful Dead Shifted from Uncommercial Jam Band to One of the World's Most Popular Acts http://www.guitarworld.com/workingman-s-dead-grateful-dead-shifted-uncommercial-jam-band-one-worlds-most-popular-acts <!--paging_filter--><p>What a difference a year makes. In February 1969, the Grateful Dead recorded a series of shows at San Francisco’s Avalon Ballroom and Fillmore West in the hope of finally capturing on tape the psychedelic alchemy of their already legendary onstage interplay. </p> <p>The double album <em>Live Dead</em>, released in November that year, showcased the Dead at their adventurous and exploratory acid-peak best and cemented their reputation as the premier jamming band of the era. </p> <p>Yet exactly one year later, in February 1970, the group ambled into a recording studio and, in a single week, cut an album that was <em>Live Dead</em>’s polar opposite. </p> <p>With its concise songs, bright harmonies and folk and country trimmings, <em>Workingman’s Dead</em> felt almost like the work of a completely different band—a stylistic shift as radical as when the Beatles followed <em>Rubber Soul</em> with <em>Revolver</em>. </p> <p>It was made with little overt commercial intent, but <em>Workingman’s Dead</em> instantly became the best-selling album of the Dead’s five-year career, and it set the band on a course that would eventually make it one of the most popular acts America ever produced, with a devoted fan base second to none. </p> <p>Until <em>Workingman’s Dead</em>, the Grateful Dead’s studio output had been largely ignored by the record-buying public. That album’s immediate predecessor, <em>Aoxomoxoa</em>, released in June 1969, was a carefully crafted effort full of intricately arranged songs brimming with playful, colorful and at times impenetrable lyrics dense with hallucinatory imagery. </p> <p>The recording sessions were long and expensive, and though the album contained a few future Dead classics—most notably “St. Stephen” and “China Cat Sunflower”—in the end it never really found a wide audience. Compared to the group’s live performances, it felt stiff and mannered. </p> <p><em>Live Dead</em> addressed that dilemma beautifully and was still picking up steam in the winter and spring of 1970, winning new converts to the Dead’s uniquely trippy mélange, when suddenly a completely different-sounding Grateful Dead started popping out of a million radios. The song was “Uncle John’s Band,” and instead of molten electric guitars and bass in epic flight over the crashing and cracking drums and cymbals of two percussion powerhouses, the song had a warm and intimate acoustic glow. </p> <p>The voices of guitarists Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir and bassist Phil Lesh rose in bright harmony, and lyricist Robert Hunter’s words exuded a gentle homespun wisdom: “Well, the first days are the hardest days/Don’t you worry any more/’Cause when life looks like easy street/There is danger at your door…” </p> <p>Could this really be the notoriously off-key-singing and lyrically opaque Grateful Dead?</p> <p>It was, and much of the rest of the album that “Uncle John’s Band” kicked off, <em>Workingman’s Dead</em>, reinforced the group’s apparent transformation from blazing psychedelic astronauts to rootsy troubadours steeped in folk and country music. The infectious country-rock anthem “Casey Jones”— famous for its daring chorus: “Driving that train, high on cocaine, Casey Jones you better watch your speed”—would follow “Uncle John’s Band” as an FM radio hit that year, and both the rollicking country-bluegrass-rock fusion “Cumberland Blues” and the simmering rocker “New Speedway Boogie” were also popular radio numbers. After years of fringe success, the Dead had truly entered the rock mainstream.</p> <p>It was not, however, an overnight change in direction for the band.</p> <p>For one thing, the Dead already had strong roots in folk and country. In his pre-Dead days, Garcia had been in a succession of acoustic groups that played old-time country, bluegrass and traditional folk music, and Weir had been a fan of the popular folkies of the early Sixties, like the Kingston Trio and Joan Baez, and also learned to play some country blues. </p> <p>Their first group together, in 1964, Mother McCree’s Uptown Jug Champions, drew from those worlds and added a dash of acoustic rock and roll, while Ron “Pigpen” McKernan brought in a cool blues sensibility. When those three started an electric band, the Warlocks, in the spring of 1965—adding Bill Kreutzmann on drums and, fairly quickly, Lesh on bass—some of the old folk/country repertoire came with them, including “Cold Rain and Snow,” “I Know You Rider,” “Stealin’ ” and “Don’t Ease Me In.”</p> <p>Those types of songs stayed in the Dead’s repertoire during the group’s halcyon days in the San Francisco ballrooms. But as they developed their songwriting chops during the second half of 1967 and through 1968, their sound increasingly moved away from their original influences and toward more complex structures, unusual time signatures and open-ended jamming that drew more from Indian music (partly the influence of drummer Mickey Hart, who joined in the fall of 1967) and jazz. </p> <p>Short songs were few and far between as the Dead developed and perfected their uncanny ability to stitch songs and jams together with what sometimes seemed to be magic Day-Glo thread. The fall of 1968 through the spring of 1969 marks the Dead’s fiercest, most confident and accomplished psychedelic playing, reaching its apex around the time that Live Dead was recorded at the Avalon Ballroom and the Fillmore West. </p> <p>But changes were on the way. Perhaps the harbinger of the future direction was a song on <em>Aoxomoxoa</em> called “Dupree’s Diamond Blues,” Hunter and Garcia’s clever recasting of a popular story-song that originated in the early Twenties. It’s a relatively straight narrative song with roots in blues and early 20th century pop tunes, driven by acoustic guitars. </p> <p>“Hunter and I always had this thing where we liked to muddy the folk tradition by adding our versions of songs to the tradition,” Garcia told me in 1989. “We had our ‘Casey Jones’ song [on <em>Workingman’s Dead</em>]. We had our ‘Stagger Lee’ song [on <em>Shakedown Street</em>, 1978]. ‘Dupree’s Diamond Blues’ is another of those. It’s the thing of taking a well-founded tradition and putting in something that’s totally looped.” Musically, he added, “it has a kind of carnival or medicine show kind of feel, and also a ragtime feel.”</p> <hr /> By February 1969, Garcia and Weir occasionally broke out acoustic guitars onstage to perform “Dupree’s,” followed by another Aoxomoxoa tune based around acoustic guitar, “Mountain of the Moon.” But leave it to Garcia and the Dead to then figure a way to segue that second acoustic number right into the trans-galactic flow of that era’s grandest improvisational piece, “Dark Star.” <p>For his part, Hunter, who also had a deep background in older folk music styles, found himself being increasingly drawn to the Band. Their brilliant first two albums, 1968’s <em>Music from Big Pink</em> and 1969’s <em>The Band</em> (a.k.a. The Brown Album) had drawn from a multitude of early American music styles and fused them into an utterly distinctive and original rock amalgamation. </p> <p>As Hunter noted in an interview I did with him in 1988, “The direction [leader/songwriter Robbie Robertson] went with the Band was one of the things that made me think of conceiving Workingman’s Dead. I was very much impressed with the area Robertson was working in. I took it and moved it to the West, which is an area I’m familiar with…regional but not the South, because everyone was going back to the South for inspiration at that time.” </p> <p>It’s unclear to what degree the Dead’s turn in a country direction might have been influenced by their move out of San Francisco’s crumbling Haight-Ashbury district in mid 1968 to more rustic Marin County, north across the Golden Gate Bridge. Mickey Hart settled on a Novato ranch that had a barn and horses, and the others spread out in nearby towns. </p> <p>Hunter and Garcia (with his lady love, Mountain Girl) rented a large but modest house in the southern Marin town of Larkspur, and over the course of about a year, churned out one fantastic song after another. Hunter often typed lyrics day and night and fed them to Garcia, who would quickly set them to music, sometimes within hours of their delivery. This is where the songs for Workingman’s Dead were born—“glorious days,” as Hunter said.</p> <p>Country flavors had been creeping into rock and roll in general for quite some time. Buffalo Springfield had a strong country and folk undercurrent in some of their material, as did the Byrds, Moby Grape and, by 1968, the Rolling Stones on <em>Beggar’s Banquet</em>. That same year, Dylan went back to acoustic music on <em>John Wesley Harding</em>, followed in 1969 by the more overtly country <em>Nashville Skyline</em>. Meanwhile, the Flying Burrito Brothers and Poco had helped put country-rock on the map.</p> <p>Even though the Dead were playing some of their most challenging and adventurous psychedelic music during this period, offstage Garcia and Weir were listening to country music mostly. Garcia was increasingly being influenced by guitarists from the “Bakersfield school” of country music, such as Roy Nichols (of Merle Haggard’s group, the Strangers) and Don Rich (of Buck Owens’ Buckaroos), both tasteful and soulful string-benders. In March 1969, at the end of a tour, Garcia bought a Zane Beck pedal-steel guitar at a music store in Colorado, and it wasn’t long before he brought the pedal steel onto the stage. </p> <p>At first, Garcia backed a country music–loving singer and songwriter named John “Marmaduke” Dawson in a tiny club south of San Francisco. Then, the fearless Garcia played it occasionally with the Dead on a range of country songs. </p> <p>A few months later, Marmaduke and Garcia formed the country-rock New Riders of the Purple Sage, with Garcia on steel for the first year-plus. (Incidentally, with the Dead in this era, Garcia mostly played a mid-Sixties red Gibson SG—that’s his Live Dead ax—through his trusty Fender Twin Reverb amps, but also occasionally employed a sunburst Stratocaster. Weir favored a Gibson 335 or 345 through a pair of Twins.)</p> <p>In June ’69, the first three Hunter-Garcia songs that would eventually find a home on Workingman’s Dead were introduced. “Dire Wolf” came first, a dark but whimsical tale about a man who invites a wolf into his desolate cabin in the woods for a game of cards, possibly to determine whether the wolf will eat him or not. “Don’t murder me,” the storyteller begs, but the cards are clearly not falling his way. Musically, it’s a simple folk song, and some of the early live versions were sung by Weir, with Garcia adding steel accompaniment. </p> <p>Soon, though, Garcia reclaimed it, and on occasion in 1969 he would suggest that the crowd sing along on the chorus. “Casey Jones” was the next new tune to emerge from the Larkspur songwriting sessions, and though Garcia’s original acoustic guitar-voice demo from early June is strikingly similar to the way it ended up on <em>Workingman’s Dead</em>, the first several Grateful Dead versions in early summer ’69 have a different vibe. The main rhythm has an almost Motown feel to it (think “I Second That Emotion”), and there are a couple of fairly lengthy guitar extrapolations. It wouldn’t be too long, however, before the song found its finished form. </p> <p>A day after the debut of “Casey Jones” came “High Time,” a gorgeous bittersweet ballad that easily could have come from George Jones, Merle Haggard or any number of other country greats. Garcia once complained that he felt could never quite do the song justice as a singer, but from mid 1969 through mid 1970, it became an important cornerstone of the band’s repertoire, often serving as a nice, grounding contrast to spacey songs such “Dark Star” and “That’s It for the Other One,” or the spunky combo of “China Cat Sunflower” and “I Know You Rider.” </p> <p>The Pigpen-sung “Easy Wind,” written by Hunter alone, started turning up in August 1969. Pig is convincing as a hard-workin’, hard-drinkin’ road laborer “chippin’ them rocks from dawn ’til doom/While my rider hide my bottle in the other room.” From the outset, the song featured slashing guitar counterpoint lines from Weir and Garcia and a funky R&amp;B feel. It’s a perfect vehicle for Pig, who during this period mostly sang cover tunes, from Otis Redding’s “Hard to Handle” to the Olympics’ “Good Lovin’ ” to “Lovelight.” </p> <hr /> The final burst of new <em>Workingman’s Dead</em> songs arrived in November and December 1969, ironically, right after the release of Live Dead, which had virtually no overt country and folk textures. <p>Musically, Garcia described the spry and speedy “Cumberland Blues” (which he co-wrote with Phil Lesh) as a blend of Bakersfield country and up-tempo bluegrass. Lyrically, Hunter paints a picture of a coal miner’s woes in and out of the mines. Like the other new songs, it took the Dead’s fans to some completely new places that, miraculously, fit in with all the other, stranger spaces their earlier material occupied.</p> <p>“Black Peter” was a dire Hunter-Garcia folk blues about a man on his deathbed, while “Uncle John’s Band” was an upbeat anthem that became an instant favorite of everyone who heard it. The influence of Crosby, Stills &amp; Nash—friends of the Dead’s whose harmony-filled first album had been ubiquitous since the summer of 1969—was obvious, and though the Dead weren’t at that level as singers, they had an undeniable vocal chemistry, and that song, in particular, had a reassuring glow that drew listeners in, made them feel that they too were maybe part of “Uncle John’s Band.” </p> <p>The last Workingman’s song to be born was “New Speedway Boogie,” Hunter’s somewhat enigmatic commentary on the early December 1969 Altamont Speedway Free Festival. The event—a West Coast version of Woodstock—was marred by violence, including the death of concertgoer Meredith Hunter by a member of the Hells Angels, who were there to provide security. </p> <p>“New Speedway Boogie” rumbles along ominously—a modified shuffle/boogie—as Garcia sings in broad metaphorical terms about harsh realities, lessons learned (or not) and the broader takeaway: “One way or another, this darkness got to give…”</p> <p>By the time “Speedway” was introduced, the Dead had already decided to make an album in the winter of 1970, cutting at Pacific High Recording, a relatively new addition to the San Francisco recording landscape. They had spent many months and more than $100,000 of Warner Bros.’ money making <em>Aoxomoxoa</em>, so this time they were determined to take their relatively simple and straightforward new songs and record them as live as possible in the studio. </p> <p>“<em>Workingman’s Dead</em> was done very quickly,” producer/engineer Bob Matthews told me in 2004. (Matthews’ familiarity with the band extended all the way back to the Mother McCree’s days with Garcia, Weir and Pigpen.) “We went into the studio first and spent a couple of days rehearsing—performing—all the tunes, recording them onto two-track. When that was done, I sat down and spliced together the tunes—beginning of side one to end of side one, beginning of side two to end of side two. I got that idea from [the Beatles’] <em>Sgt Pepper’s</em>: ‘Before we even start, let’s have a concept of what the end product is going to feel like, sequencing-wise.’ </p> <p>They rehearsed some more in their rehearsal studio, and then they came in and recorded [on one of Ampex’s new 16-track machines]. But at all times there was the perspective of where we were in the album.” The Dead had further honed their chops by playing a series of acoustic sets during the winter of 1969–1970, mixing versions of their new songs among folk and country covers.</p> <p>The entire album was recorded and mixed in about 10 days. Overdubs included Garcia’s pedal-steel parts, Pigpen’s harmonica, various acoustic and electric guitar parts and, of course, the vocals, which were certainly at a level the Dead had never achieved before. The noted San Francisco poster artist Stanley Mouse and his partner Alton Kelley conceived of the now-iconic front cover: the band and Hunter in workingman’s duds standing on a nondescript street corner. When Warner Bros. boss Joe Smith first heard the finished record, he announced to all within earshot that, unbelievable as it might seem, the Dead had made a hit record.</p> <p>Smith was right. The album immediately took the Dead to a new level of popularity, and when they followed up <em>Workingman’s Dead</em> with the tonally similar and equally momentous American Beauty (“Ripple,” “Brokedown Palace,” “Sugar Magnolia,” “Truckin’ ”) just a few months later, they solidified their place among the great bands to survive the Sixties. </p> <p>The Dead never stopped playing long, jamming tunes, even as they continued to carve out one slice of distinctive Americana after another through the early Seventies. But <em>Workingman’s Dead</em> turned the Dead into a song band, and it was the launch pad for everything that came after it. It was a big gamble, a radical change in direction, but it paid off like a royal flush. </p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/grateful-dead">Grateful Dead</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/workingman-s-dead-grateful-dead-shifted-uncommercial-jam-band-one-worlds-most-popular-acts#comments Grateful Dead Jerry Garcia November 2013 The Grateful Dead Interviews News Features Magazine Sun, 05 Jul 2015 15:59:37 +0000 Blair Jackson 19647 at http://www.guitarworld.com Tab Book: Learn the 'Best of Scorpions,' Note for Note http://www.guitarworld.com/tab-book-learn-best-scorpions-note-note <!--paging_filter--><p>A new tab book, <em>Best of Scorpions</em>, is available now at the Guitar World Online Store.</p> <p>The book features note-for-note transcriptions with tab for 14 favorites from these Hanover hard rockers. </p> <p>It includes their mega-hit “Rock You like a Hurricane” plus: </p> <p>• Big City Nights<br /> • Blackout<br /> • Coming Home<br /> • Holiday<br /> • I Can't Explain<br /> • Loving You Sunday Morning<br /> • No One like You<br /> • Passion Rules the Game<br /> • Rhythm of Love<br /> • Send Me an Angel<br /> • Still Loving You<br /> • Wind of Change<br /> • The Zoo</p> <p><strong><a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/products/best-of-scorpions/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=BestofScorpions">This 128-page book is available now for $19.99. Head to the Guitar World Online Store now.</a></strong></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/scorpions">Scorpions</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/tab-book-learn-best-scorpions-note-note#comments Scorpions News Features Sun, 05 Jul 2015 15:58:37 +0000 Guitar World Staff 20930 at http://www.guitarworld.com The 30 Best Albums of 2015 — So Far http://www.guitarworld.com/25-best-albums-2015-so-far <!--paging_filter--><p>Well, we've come to the halfway point of the year—and then some. </p> <p>It's time to look back at what has, so far, been a strong year for music, one in which the guitar has been pushed to new creative peaks on new albums in an array of genres. </p> <p>From Sleater-Kinney's nervy punk to JD McPherson's fierce roots rock to Periphery's always-impressive technical metal, the guitar has had quite a year already. And forget we have another six months of releases coming our way. You'll find those in our year-end-wrap-up stories in December.</p> <p>On that note, let's have a look at 30 of the year's best albums (so far). </p> <p><strong>NOTE: This list is presented in alphabetical order, not from worst to best or best to worst. So there's no order of preference. Enjoy!</strong></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/25-best-albums-2015-so-far#comments Charlie Thompson JD McPherson Pokey LaFarge Whitey Morgan year end 2015 News Features Thu, 02 Jul 2015 14:27:38 +0000 Guitar World Staff, Intro by Jackson Maxwell 24815 at http://www.guitarworld.com Acoustic Fingerstylists Andy McKee, Jon Gomm and Daryl Kellie Are Blazing a Daring Style of Percussive, Alternate-Tuned Shred http://www.guitarworld.com/acoustic-nation-fingerstylists-andy-mckee-jon-gomm-daryl-kellie-style-percussive-alternate-tuned-shred <!--paging_filter--><p>In the Eighties, radical fingerstylists like Michael Hedges and Preston Reed pioneered an acoustic guitar style based on an alternate-tuned, percussion-heavy, new age–tinged sound. </p> <p>Kaki King explored it further in the new millennium beginning with her 2002 debut, <em>Everybody Loves You</em>.</p> <p>Some people have dubbed the style “progressive acoustic guitar,” while others prefer “modern fingerstyle.” </p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.jongomm.com/">Jon Gomm</a></strong>, one of its latest (and most popular) exponents, has even heard it referred to as banging, due to its practitioners’ tendency to rap, slap and knock their hands against the body of an acoustic guitar for percussive effect. </p> <p>Whatever you call it, there’s no doubt that this genre of acoustic guitar–based music is experiencing a major resurgence, thanks to the internet. In 2006, an unassuming-looking acoustic guitar teacher from Topeka, Kansas, named <strong><a href="http://www.andymckee.com/">Andy McKee</a></strong> uploaded to YouTube a handful of videos of himself playing some original and incredibly complex instrumental acoustic guitar compositions. </p> <p>Among the many techniques he employed in these performances was the use of unique alternate tunings, percussive knocks, two-handed tapping, over-the-fretboard playing, partial capos and natural and artificial harmonics. One video in particular, for a propulsive yet ethereal tune called “Drifting,” became one of YouTube’s first viral sensations—likely because it was both melodically appealing and visually stunning—and racked up millions of views on the then-new site. </p> <p>McKee has since become the figurehead of this style of playing, and scores of exceptionally talented guitarists have followed in his wake. Many of them, such as French-Canadian fingerstylist Antoine Dufour and British picker Mike Dawes, have recorded for the Wisconsin-based independent imprint CandyRat Records, which has become known as the leading purveyor of this music. </p> <p>Like McKee, Dufour and Dawes have found much success online, partly through elaborate solo reimaginings of full-band songs, in which they recreate rhythm, lead and vocal parts on acoustic guitar. (<a href="http://youtu.be/G1bzUaf_gvU">Dawes’ version of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know”</a> and <a href="http://youtu.be/gNPCI8y9avc">Dufour’s take on Imogen Heap’s “Hide and Seek”</a> have respectively registered 2.8 and 1.5 million YouTube views.) </p> <p>One of the newest and brightest entries in this realm is <strong><a href="http://www.darylkellie.com/">Daryl Kellie</a></strong> [pictured above], who created an online stir with an elegantly arranged version of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” </p> <p>Then there is Britain’s Jon Gomm, who employs a dizzying combination of extended techniques that explore the outermost reaches of the acoustic guitar. Gomm tends to play in a fluid, eight-finger, above-the-fretboard manner, and seemingly manipulates every bit of his instrument, knocking his hand against the guitar’s top, back, sides and the fretboard, scratching his nails across bridge pins, twisting tuning pegs mid-song, and using an assortment of pickups and pedals. </p> <p>Like many of his peers, he has found his greatest success on YouTube, after his signature song, “Passionflower,” went viral in 2012.</p> <p>That the online world has proved to be a vital forum for these artists is understandable, given that there is an uncharacteristically prominent visual component to what they do. Each musician’s playing style is a marvel of not only creativity and ability but also coordination. “There’s a pretty interesting visual aspect to it, with all the wild techniques,” McKee says, “which is one of the reasons I think YouTube has been such a great arena to showcase the music.”</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Ddn4MGaS3N4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em>Guitar World</em> recently caught up individually with McKee, Gomm and Kellie to discuss their unique approaches to the acoustic guitar, as well as how each cultivated his impressive technique and style. Interestingly, they all share not only a love for Michael Hedges and his ilk but also a background in heavy-metal guitar. Says Gomm, “This new acoustic movement is almost like the unplugged version of shred.” </p> <p>Adds McKee, “I think what ties the two together is the complexity of the music. When all of us guys were first getting into the guitar and wanting to learn these different techniques, metal music was the place to go, because you had guitarists doing unbelievable things on their instruments. In a way, we’ve now transferred some of that over to the acoustic.”</p> <p><strong>Andy McKee</strong></p> <p>Perhaps no musician better represents the new progressive acoustic guitar movement than Andy McKee. The 34-year-old is so much the face of the scene that some call this form of music “ ‘Drifting’-style guitar,” a reference to his most famous composition, which has notched almost 50 million YouTube views since its 2006 debut.</p> <p>At the time, McKee was giving guitar lessons around his hometown of Topeka, Kansas, and recording for CandyRat. “[CandyRat label head] Rob Poland had this idea to shoot some performance videos for this new web site called YouTube,” he recalls. “He thought, Maybe we’ll get a few new fans. So we filmed, like, eight videos in one day and put them up.”</p> <hr /> <p>One of them, “Drifting,” went viral after being featured on YouTube’s homepage, and McKee became an online phenomenon. Soon, he was accepting offers to tour with Tommy Emmanuel and record with Josh Groban. </p> <p>“I went from teaching guitar in Kansas to playing guitar all over the planet,” he says. “Which is what I always wanted to do.”</p> <p>Amazingly, “Drifting” is the first song McKee ever wrote in the style with which he has become so closely associated. He composed it when he was 18, just two years after hearing the percussive-heavy instrumental acoustic guitar work of Preston Reed. </p> <p>“When I was 16, my cousin took me to see Preston at a guitar workshop here in Kansas,” he recalls. “At the time, I was playing electric guitar and was way into Pantera and Dream Theater and Iron Maiden. Then I saw Preston and he was doing all these amazing things with just one acoustic. It blew my mind. I wanted to figure out how he was able to cover melodic, harmonic and rhythmic ideas all at once.”</p> <p>McKee also cites fingerstylists like Don Ross, Billy McLaughlin and Michael Hedges as primary influences. Of all his acoustic contemporaries, McKee’s style most closely mirrors that of Hedges, in both his use of the guitar’s body to add percussive elements and his tendency to create lush, harmonically rich soundscapes using altered tunings and droning open strings. On occasion, he plays a double-neck harp guitar, an instrument popularized by, and closely associated with, Hedges.</p> <p>Since the success of “Drifting,” McKee has become a force in the acoustic world. A few years back he created a tour called Guitar Masters, a sort of G3 for the acoustic set. He also performs upward of 100 dates each year on his own, and sometimes in front of enormous audiences, such as when John Petrucci invited him to open some arena gigs for Dream Theater in the U.S., Mexico and the Far East. </p> <p>Equally thrilling, and even more unexpected, in 2012 McKee received an offer to join Prince for a series of shows in Australia. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/JsD6uEZsIsU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>“He watched some of my videos, and one in particular, ‘Rylynn,’ [See the video above] really stood out to him,” McKee says. “He invited me to Minneapolis to jam with him and his band, and from there he brought me out on tour. And it was amazing. I would start the shows with an acoustic arrangement of ‘Purple Rain,’ and during Prince’s set I’d sit in with him and his band and we’d do a medley of his songs.”</p> <p>As for his own music, McKee has released a series of well-received albums, including his most recent, 2010’s <em>Joyride</em>. He also continues to seek out new avenues to explore with his own music. </p> <p>To that end, his new Razor &amp; Tie–issued EP, <em>Mythmaker</em>, features not only his distinct acoustic guitar playing but also a solo piano piece and an electric guitar–and-synth composition. “I’m trying some different things out and letting inspiration take me wherever it does,” McKee says. “I don’t feel like I have to write the next amazing acoustic-guitar song necessarily—I just want to write the next amazing piece of music.” </p> <p><strong>Andy McKee Axology</strong><br /> <strong>GUITARS</strong> Michael Greenfield G4.2 (fanned fret), Michael Greenfield G2B and G4B.2 (fanned fret) baritone, Michael Greenfield HG1.2 harp guitar<br /> <strong>PICKUPS</strong> K&amp;K Pure Mini<br /> <strong>EFFECTS</strong> None<br /> <strong>CAPOS</strong> Shubb S1 and S5 Deluxe (banjo)<br /> <strong>PREAMP</strong> D-TAR Solstice </p> <hr /> <p><strong>Jon Gomm</strong></p> <p>A few years back, Leeds, England–based singer-songwriter Jon Gomm was just another guitarist—albeit one with a devastatingly advanced extended technique—trying to carve out a musical career by gigging extensively across Europe.</p> <p>Then his life was changed by a single word: in early 2012, British actor and comedian Stephen Fry sent out a tweet consisting of “Wow” and a link to a video of Gomm playing his song “Passionflower” live. </p> <p>Today, that video has close to 6 million views, and Gomm has become one of the most talked-about players in the acoustic guitar scene, with fans ranging from David Crosby to Steve Vai to Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe. </p> <p>One look at any of Gomm’s many videos makes it easy to see why his playing has caused such waves. On the main melody of “Passionflower,” for example, he builds an entrancing and hypnotic rhythm pattern by, among other things, scratching, banging and knocking the body of his guitar, a Lowden he calls Wilma. </p> <p>He sounds notes, including harp harmonics, exclusively using eight-finger tapping and with both hands positioned over the fretboard, and he continually reaches behind the headstock to retune his two highest strings as they ring out, to create a synth-like effect. To top it off, he sings over the whole thing.</p> <p>But despite the practically acrobatic nature of his playing, Gomm insists that his music is not a gimmick. “Every song has to have a meaning and connect with people emotionally,” says the 36-year-old guitarist, who actually composes his lyrics first and adds instrumentation afterward. “And you can’t make that connection just by doing gymnastics.” He adds that his favorite thing about playing in this style is that “there are no boundaries. I can think in any genre I want and try to put that into the music.”</p> <p>Gomm has played many genres over the years. Early on, he schooled himself using Steve Vai’s instructional book Shred Extravaganza and later studied at the Guitar Institute in London and earned a jazz degree from the Leeds College of Music. </p> <p>Thanks to his father’s career as a record and concert reviewer for a British newspaper, he received first-hand tips and pointers as a teenager from a famous players, including B.B. King, bluesman Walter Trout and the late steel-guitar virtuoso Bob Brozman, whom he credits with turning him onto the idea of using the guitar as a percussion instrument.</p> <p>“He would flip his guitar over and play drum solos on the back of the body, which was mind blowing to me,” Gomm says. “I also had a guitar teacher who was great at flamenco, and percussive playing is a big part of that style. So while a guy like Michael Hedges was huge for me, it was probably less for the percussion thing and more for his amazing way with altered tunings.”</p> <p>Altered tunings are a big part of Gomm’s style as well. For him, it serves as a way to further unleash his creativity. “I went to guitar school, and I learned a million scales,” he says. “But if I take the guitar and just twist a few pegs, all of a sudden everything is new. Sometimes the most creative thing you can do is tune your guitar wrong and let your ears, rather than your brain, do the work.”</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/nY7GnAq6Znw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>Gomm also pushes his creative boundaries by using banjo pegs on his B and high E strings. The pegs can be set to toggle between two notes, allowing players to loosen and tighten a string’s tension to hit distinct pitches at will. </p> <p>The effect, as demonstrated by Gomm on songs like “Passionflower” and “Telepathy” (both of which appear on <em>Secrets Nobody Keeps</em>), is similar to bending a note on an electric guitar or playing with a synthesizer’s pitch wheel. On another composition, “Hey Child,” which features an overdrive-laced shredding solo, he uses the banjo pegs to create dive-bomb-like whammy-bar effects. </p> <p>“You can get really creative with them and bring your sound into so many different worlds,” Gomm says.</p> <p>Which, essentially, is how he feels about this acoustic guitar style. “There’s just so much you can do,” he says. “When I pick up an electric guitar now, it feels like a toy. The acoustic feels so much more powerful and free to me. It’s a beast of an instrument.”</p> <p><strong>Jon Gomm Axology</strong><br /> <strong>GUITAR</strong> Lowden O12-C (“Wilma”)<br /> <strong>PICKUPS</strong> Fishman Rare Earth Blend, Fishman Acoustic Matrix<br /> <strong>STRINGS</strong> Newtone signature super-heavy gauge (.014–.068)<br /> <strong>EFFECTS</strong> Three Boss PQ-3B Bass Parametric Equalizers, Boss OC-3 Super Octave, Boss DD-7 Digital Delay, Boss RV-5 Digital Reverb, Tech 21 SansAmp Character Series Blond, Line 6 Verbzilla, Line 6 Echo Park<br /> <strong>AMP</strong> Trace Elliot TA 200</p> <hr /> <p><strong>Daryl Kellie</strong></p> <p>In contrast to many of his contemporaries in the progressive fingerstyle world, Daryl Kellie’s musical proclivities and background lean more toward jazz and classical forms rather than the ethereal, percussive-heavy approach of Hedges and Reed. </p> <p>Which, in a sense, made Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” an ideal showcase for the 30-year-old’s abilities as a solo guitar arranger and performer. </p> <p>Kellie’s interpretation of the song is remarkably evocative of the original, with the guitarist employing complex chords, tapping, hammer-ons and plenty of harmonics (both natural and artificial), to great effect.</p> <p>Explains Kellie, “I’ve always come at this from a jazz-fingerstyle guitar angle, and the classical guitar thing is something I’ve always kept up as well. With that in mind, something like ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is in a way similar to the kind of very dense arrangements you often find in classical guitar music. So arranging the song came pretty naturally to me.” </p> <p>In general, most any style of playing seems to come naturally to Kellie, who began his guitar life as a hard rock and metal fan. </p> <p>Growing up in Hampshire, England, he was an avowed acolyte of shredders like Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson and Eddie Van Halen (“I actually snapped the whammy bar off my Fender Squier trying to learn ‘Eruption,’ ” he says), and in his late teens he toured Britain as the lead guitarist in a “proggy, gothy” metal band named Season’s End. </p> <p>At the same time, he began cultivating an interest in jazz and classical solo guitar, studying the playing of everyone from Joe Pass to Lenny Breau (from whom he cultivated his skillful harp-harmonic technique) to Martin Taylor, who also served as his guitar teacher for a time. </p> <p>Then, in his early twenties, Kellie’s older brother gave him a copy of Andy McKee’s 2005 CandyRat effort, <em>Art of Motion</em>, which includes the songs “Drifting” and “Rylynn.” Recalls Kellie, “I thought it was amazing. I was already getting into the solo guitar thing through my jazz studies, so to see what Andy and some of the other CandyRat artists were doing, with the percussive element and all the interesting techniques, it felt like the next frontier. It was a style of guitar that seemed to be all encompassing, like you could go anywhere with it.”</p> <p>Kellie threw himself wholeheartedly into this new style, and in 2010 he self-released his first EP, <em>Don’t Expect Much</em> and <em>You Won’t Be Disappointed</em>. But it is his growing online catalog of inventively arranged cover songs that has been garnering him the most attention. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/_fxbx0-O8kY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/exclusive-video-lesson-bohemian-rhapsody-tutorial-daryl-kellie">Exclusive Video Lesson: "Bohemian Rhapsody" Tutorial by Daryl Kellie</a></strong></p> <p>A quick search on YouTube brings up videos of Kellie tackling songs in a variety of genres, from rock classics like the Beatles’ “When I’m Sixty-Four” and the White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army” to Tetris and Super Mario Bros video-game music and pop hits like Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It),” which appears, along with “Bohemian Rhapsody” on Kellie’s new, self-released full-length effort, <em>Wintersong.</em> </p> <p>“I like the idea of doing something that’s unexpected,” he explains. “If it’s the first time someone’s been to one of my gigs, they might be like, ‘Is that freakin’ Beyoncé that he’s playing?’ And I also want to show that these are great songs and there’s some interesting things going on in them.”</p> <p>The success of his “Bohemian Rhapsody” arrangement has inspired Kellie to create more covers. “I’ve been considering some Nirvana arrangements, using lots of artificial harmonics and that type of thing,” he says. “And it’d be fun to do something really ‘outside,’ like a Megadeth song, perhaps.” </p> <p>Ultimately, his goal is to keep pushing his acoustic-guitar technique into new realms. “I want to continue to learn and try new things,” he says. “I would love to incorporate techniques like tapping and harp harmonics into jazz and jazz improvisation pieces, which I don’t feel is done very much, particularly on the acoustic. I think that would be really interesting.”</p> <p><strong>Daryl Kellie Axology</strong><br /> <strong>GUITARS</strong> Gibson L-50, Taylor 810 custom, 110ce and 310ce<br /> <strong>PICKUPS</strong> Fishman Rare Earth Blend<br /> <strong>EFFECTS</strong> Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail Reverb Nano, Boss RC-30 Loop Station<br /> <strong>PREAMP</strong> BBE Acoustimax </p> <p><em>Photo (Daryl Kellie): Alex Flahive</em></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/acoustic-nation-fingerstylists-andy-mckee-jon-gomm-daryl-kellie-style-percussive-alternate-tuned-shred#comments Acoustic Nation Andy McKee April 2014 Daryl Kellie GW Archive Jon Gromm News Interviews Interviews News Features Magazine Thu, 02 Jul 2015 14:24:13 +0000 Richard Bienstock 21084 at http://www.guitarworld.com July 4 Sale: Take 35 Percent Off Everything at the Guitar World Online Store! http://www.guitarworld.com/july-4-sale-take-35-percent-everything-guitar-world-online-store <!--paging_filter--><p><strong>Save big for Independence Day!</strong></p> <p>Take 35 percent off everything at the <a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=35FOURTH15">Guitar World Online Store!</a></p> <p>Just be sure to use code <strong>35FOURTH15</strong> at checkout.</p> <p>Once again, that's <strong>35FOURTH15.</strong></p> <p><strong>This sale ends 11:59 p.m. Sunday, July 5, 2015, so <a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=35FOURTH15">head to the Guitar World Online Store now!</a></strong></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/july-4-sale-take-35-percent-everything-guitar-world-online-store#comments News Features Thu, 02 Jul 2015 14:14:24 +0000 Guitar World Staff 24862 at http://www.guitarworld.com Get a Free 'Mastering Arpeggios Part 2' Lesson at the 'Guitar World Lessons' Store — Video http://www.guitarworld.com/get-free-mastering-arpeggios-part-2-lesson-guitar-world-lessons-store-video <!--paging_filter--><p><em>Mastering Arpeggios Part 2,</em> an impressive compilation of nine instructional video lessons and tabs by Jimmy Brown, is now available through the Guitar World Lessons <a href="https://guitarworldlessons.com/product/EF57BA06-4DBD-DB72-635C-2E213E3A8004?&amp;utm_source=guitarworld.com&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=arpeggios2">Webstore</a> and <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/guitar-world-lessons/id942720009?mt=8">App.</a></p> <p>It joins the ranks of the many lessons already available through <a href="https://guitarworldlessons.com/product/EF57BA06-4DBD-DB72-635C-2E213E3A8004?&amp;utm_source=guitarworld.com&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=arpeggios2">Guitar World Lessons.</a></p> <p>To celebrate this new release, <em>Guitar World</em> is offering the first <em>Mastering Arpeggios Part 2</em> lesson, "G Major Seven Arpeggios in Positions," as a FREE download! Note that all nine <em>Mastering Arpeggios Part 2</em> lessons are available—as a package—for only $14.99.</p> <p>You can watch the trailer for <em>Mastering Arpeggios Part 2</em> below.</p> <p><a href="https://guitarworldlessons.com/product/EF57BA06-4DBD-DB72-635C-2E213E3A8004?&amp;utm_source=guitarworld.com&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=arpeggios2">This new collection</a> is the 90-minute-plus follow-up to <em>Mastering Arpeggios</em>. It introduces and covers everything you need to know about the five essential seventh-chord arpeggio qualities: major seven, dominant seven, minor seven, minor-seven flat-five and diminished seven. </p> <p>Again focusing on the popular guitar key of G, your instructor, longtime GW Senior Music Editor Jimmy Brown, presents all possible fretboard positions and two-octave fingering patterns for these arpeggios and shows you ways to transpose them to any other key, either by progressing through the cycle of fourths/fifths or taking each shape you’ve learned and moving up or down the fretboard chromatically (in one-fret increments). </p> <p>Jimmy then shows you extended two-notes-per-string “monster” patterns that move diagonally up and across the neck, spanning three octaves. Also covered are the seven diatonic seventh-chord arpeggios that live in the key of G major, demonstrated in all positions, and interval patterns of fourths, fifths, sixths and sevenths applied to the arpeggios. The lesson product concludes with an entertaining performance of an original interpretation and tab arrangement of “Presto” from “Sonata 1 For Solo Violin” by Johann Sebastian Bach, which serves as an effective and musically satisfying practice piece.</p> <p><em>Mastering Arpeggios Part 2</em> includes:</p> <p>• <strong>Chapter 1 (Part 1): G Major Seven Arpeggios in Positions</strong> his first part of Chapter 1 begins with a quick review of the G major scale and G major triad arpeggio, played up and down one string for purposes of illustration. Jimmy then demonstrates all of the fixed-position two-octave fingerings for a G major seven arpeggio between fourth and seventh positions, along the way showing you a bunch of useful “alternate picking shred cells” and a neat application for improvisation—playing Gmaj7 over an E bass note or Em or Em7 chord to create a cool, jazzy Em9 sound. </p> <p>• <strong>Chapter 1 (Part 2): G Major Seven Arpeggios in Positions (continued)</strong> This conclusion of Chapter 1 demonstrates all the remaining possible fretboard positions and fingerings for playing G major-seven arpeggios across two octaves, with additional “speed picking cells” presented along the way that reside within the larger patterns. Also covered are patterns in first and second position that combine open strings with fretted notes. </p> <p>• <strong>Chapter 2: G Dominant Seven and Minor Seven Arpeggios in Positions</strong> Using all the two-octave G major-seven shapes shown in the previous segment, this chapter shows you how to convert them to G dominant- and minor-seven shapes, by “flatting” the seventh and third. Necessary fingering adjustments are covered, as the shapes morph from major-seven to dominant-seven to minor-seven. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/L8Y3aXxGiwQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>• <strong>Chapter 3: G Minor Seven Flat-five and Diminished Seven Arpeggios in Positions</strong> Working off of all the G minor-seven shapes presented in the previous chapter, this lesson shows you how to go from minor-seven to minor-seven flat-five to fully diminished-seven, including any necessary fingering adjustments that need to be made to accommodate the lowering of certain notes by one fret. </p> <p>• <strong>Chapter 4: The Circle of Fifths/Fourths and Practicing Drills</strong> Before continuing with extended arpeggio shapes and applications, this chapter presents a concise review of what is called the “circle of fifths,” or “circle of fourths,” and demonstrates a couple of easy ways to visually remember the cycle on the fretboard and ways to use it to practice all arpeggio shapes learned thus far in all 12 keys. </p> <p>• <strong>Chapter 5: Two-notes-per-string Patterns</strong> This chapter shows you how to take the five seventh-chord arpeggio qualities covered in the previous chapters and expand them into extended “monster” runs that span three octaves by moving diagonally across the fretboard using two notes per string with quick position shifts. Different “launching points” are presented, starting on the root, third, fifth and seventh of any given arpeggio. </p> <p>• <strong>Chapter 6: Diatonic Seventh-chord Arpeggios in G</strong> This lesson offers some practical, useful music theory and technical studies by presenting a set of seven different seventh-chord arpeggios that live within the key of G major, consisting of Gmaj7, Am7, Bm7, Cmaj7, D7, Em7 and F#m7b5. </p> <p>• <strong>Chapter 7: Interval Patterns</strong> This chapter takes the two-octave shapes for the seven diatonic seventh-chord arpeggios from the previous lesson and shows you how to “scramble” the notes by playing them in melodic patterns of fourth and fifth intervals that have you continually crossing strings, which makes for a great alternate picking workout, as well as some neat sounds. </p> <p>• <strong>Chapter 8: “Presto,” from “Sonata 1 For Solo Violin” by Johann Sebastian Bach</strong> This final chapter presents a performance of Jimmy’s own guitar adaptation and fingering arrangement of a beautiful violin piece by legendary classical composer Johann Sebastian Bach called “Presto,” from “Sonata 1 for Solo Violin.” </p> <p><strong>For more information, visit the Guitar World Lessons <a href="https://guitarworldlessons.com/product/EF57BA06-4DBD-DB72-635C-2E213E3A8004?&amp;utm_source=guitarworld.com&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=arpeggios2">Webstore</a> and download the <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/guitar-world-lessons/id942720009?mt=8">App</a> now.</strong></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/jimmy-brown">Jimmy Brown</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/get-free-mastering-arpeggios-part-2-lesson-guitar-world-lessons-store-video#comments arpeggios Guitar World Lessons Jimmy Brown Videos News Features Lessons Wed, 01 Jul 2015 20:54:39 +0000 Guitar World Staff 24859 at http://www.guitarworld.com The Top 10 Wedding Songs http://www.guitarworld.com/top-10-wedding-songs <!--paging_filter--><p>As a member of a wedding band, you learn some valuable lessons, such as <em>it's not always about you</em>. </p> <p>You're on that stage to help fulfill the bride's ideal of a fairy-tale wedding. That means you'll likely be playing some pretty cheesy stuff. </p> <p>But that's all right. The job is to keep the guests on the dance floor and singing along to every tune. </p> <p>With the following set list in hand, everyone will live happily ever after—or at least until the bar runs dry.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>10. Kool &amp; the Gang, "Celebration"</strong></p> <p>This Toyotathon jingle is insipidly gleeful. But if there's "a party going on right here"—like, say, at a wedding reception—chances are good you'll be asked to perform it. Cheer up, though, it could be worse—the bride's mother could demand "The Chicken Dance."</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/3GwjfUFyY6M" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>09. The Carpenters, "We've Only Just Begun"</strong></p> <p>This lovely ballad actually started out as a jingle for a bank commercial before Richard Carpenter contacted songwriter Paul Williams and asked him to flesh it out for a single. With lines specifically about weddings ("white lace and promises," etc.), it's now money in the bank for wedding bands. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/__VQX2Xn7tI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>08. Bonnie Tyler, "Total Eclipse of the Heart"</strong></p> <p>Many brides want their wedding day to be an epic pageant, flawless in every detail. Leave it to Jim Steinman, the man behind Meat Loaf, to capture that operatic quality in a power ballad. Forever immortalized in the reception scene of <em>Old School</em>, nothing says "I fuckin' need you more than ever" like this Tyler hit. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/lcOxhH8N3Bo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>07. The Psychedelic Furs, "Pretty in Pink"</strong></p> <p>Ever since John Hughes borrowed this song for his coming-of-age flick of the same name, most people associate it with romance and assume the chorus ("Pretty in pink, isn't she?") is literal. Which makes it fun for wedding bands, considering that the lyrics are actually about a party girl and "pink" is a metaphor for "nude." </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/pqmTMiIMG74" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>06. KC &amp; the Sunshine Band, "Shake Your Booty"</strong></p> <p>It hasn't been cool to like KC &amp; the Sunshine Band since... well... <em>ever</em>. But break into this tune and every single wedding guest will bust out of the disco closet and onto the dance floor. Careful with that tempo, though- today's average booty is quite a bit larger than it was in KC's heyday. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/xWxLc555sgU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>05. Outkast, "Hey Ya"</strong></p> <p>Keep those bodies shake, shake, shakin' like a Polaroid picture with this four-chord wonder. And wear 'em out with a protracted version of the call-and-response section: "Don't make me break this thing down for nothing, ladies!" </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/PWgvGjAhvIw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>04. Aerosmith, "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing"</strong></p> <p>This Diane Warren-penned power ballad, from 1998, was Steven Tyler and crew's biggest hit in years. It's not exactly rock 'n' roll, but if you're playing a conservative affair, it might be the closest you can get. Hey, if badass Joe Perry can suck it up night after night, so can you. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/JkK8g6FMEXE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>03. The Rolling Stones, "Wild Horses"</strong></p> <p>The authors of "Under My Thumb," "Stupid Girl" and "Bitch" probably aren't an obvious quarry of wedding material. But you can always give this one a shot: Mick and Keef's rare display of vulnerability will switch on the waterworks every time. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/yE2B_kCfvss" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>02. Grand Funk Railroad, "Some Kind of Wonderful"</strong></p> <p>A man professing his love for his woman can be a truly touching thing. Or it can be totally embarrassing. You can make it a manly proposition with this rousing R&amp;B tune by Mark Farner and Grand Funk. Unlike Farner, however, you might want to leave your shirt on and forgo the headband. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/O7B5jXYRy3Q" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>01. Neil Diamond, "Sweet Caroline"</strong></p> <p>Neil Diamond rules. He wrote hits for the Monkees, perfected the sideburn comb-over, and, if you were born 40 or so years, probably soundtracked your conception—if not fathered you himself. And then there's this anthem, a slam dunk for any wedding band. "Sweet Caroline" will have guests actually believing that "good times never seemed so good." Well, "Sweet Caroline" and an open bar, anyway. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/NsLyI1_R01M" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/aerosmith">Aerosmith</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/top-10-wedding-songs#comments Aerosmith GO June 2005 Guitar One Guitar World Lists News Features Wed, 01 Jul 2015 15:35:39 +0000 Guitar World Staff 24603 at http://www.guitarworld.com Willie Dixon at 100: 10 Essential Willie Dixon Covers — Video http://www.guitarworld.com/10-ten-best-willie-dixon-songs-covers-essential <!--paging_filter--><p>Although you probably won't see too many "100 Years of Willie Dixon" celebrations online today, we felt we needed to say something about this incredibly important figure in Chicago blues and rock history.</p> <p>Dixon, who—as we've implied above—was born July 1, 1915, was primarily a bassist and singer (who also played guitar), but a bassist and singer who happened to write hundreds of incredible, often dark and eerie songs, several of which found their way into the catalogs of the biggest blues and rock artists of the Sixties, Seventies, Eighties and beyond.</p> <p>These include Stevie Ray Vaughan, Led Zeppelin, Jeff Beck, the Rolling Stones, Buddy Guy, Cream (and Eric Clapton), the Doors, the Grateful Dead, Gary Moore, George Thorogood, Muddy Waters, Koko Taylor and Howlin’ Wolf—<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_songs_written_by_Willie_Dixon">to name just a few.</a></p> <p>Today we'd like to celebrate Dixon's would-be 100th birthday by pointing out 10 noteworthy covers of his songs. In fact, let's make it 11. I say noteworthy, as opposed to best, because there's simply a staggering amount of recordings to consider (live and studio). Let's just say you can't possibly go wrong with these 11.</p> <p>Note that we've tried to include live versions of the songs, because they're a hell of a lot more fun to watch than audio-only YouTube "videos." Enjoy! P.S.: Dixon died in 1992 at age 76.<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Jeff Beck, "I Ain't Superstitious"</strong></p> <p>Although Howlin' Wolf recorded this Dixon tune in 1961, most rock fans made its acquaintance when Jeff Beck covered it on his first solo album, <em>Truth,</em> in 1968. </p> <p>The song recounts various superstitions, including a black cat crossing the pathway, so Beck imitates the sound of a cat with his guitar and wah pedal. It's just one of a multitude of sounds Beck can coax out of a guitar. That said, if my cats sounded like this, I'd rush them to the all-night animal hospital ASAP.</p> <p>Here's a live version from 2009, 41 years after it appeared on <em>Truth</em>. Beck even got the original vocalist, Rod Stewart, to sing it. That's Tal Wilkenfeld on bass. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/q3K2jwzpc0U" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Cream, "Spoonful"</strong></p> <p>Just as “Crossroads” introduced a new generation of music fans to the mystique of Robert Johnson, Cream’s “Spoonful” brought exposure to Dixon, who wrote the song, and Howlin’ Wolf, who originally recorded it in 1960.</p> <p>And while Howlin’ Wolf’s stark-and-dark version is haunting in its own right, Cream’s take on the song—driven by Clapton’s guitar and Jack Bruce’s heavy bass—moves it several steps further along.</p> <p>At Cream’s live shows, “Spoonful” gave the band members plenty of room to stretch out, as can be heard on the nearly 17-minute-long version on Cream’s <em>Wheels of Fire.</em> Below is another great live version, complete with pro-shot footage of Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Bruce in action. And just like the second season of <em>F Troop,</em> this video is in color.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/CgP7kfIwlE8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Muddy Waters, “I Just Want to Make Love to You”</strong></p> <p>Here's a live version of a powerful Dixon number that Muddy Waters made famous. This live version features Johnny Winter, Otis Blackwell, Eddie "Bluesman" Kirkland, Dave "Honeyboy" Edwards and Foghat, so you know it was filmed in the Seventies, which it was (1978). Let's not forget the Stones' sped-up version of this song, which is enjoyable in its own British way.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/RUOYD3mu2l0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>The Doors, "Back Door Man"</strong></p> <p>"Back Door Man," a Chicago blues classic, was recorded by Howlin' Wolf in 1960 and released in 1961 by Chess Records as the B-side to Wolf's "Wang Dang Doodle." The Doors got to it a few years later, including it on their eponymous debut album. Doors drummer John Densmore said "Back Door Man" is "deeply sexual and got everyone moving."</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/sf3KG8VAtJg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Eric Clapton, "Third Degree"</strong></p> <p>When Clapton recorded his intense <em>From the Cradle</em> album, which was hailed as his "return to the blues," he was sure to include several Dixon compositions, including this one, which was co-written by Eddie Boyd. The other two were "Hoochie Coochie Man" and the dramatic and greasy “Groaning the Blues.”</p> <p>Check out this fine mid-Nineties live version of "Third Degree" featuring Clapton playing a very nice Gibson. We wish he would play this guitar more often. OK, "we" is me.</p> <p>By the way, in a 2011 GuitarWorld.com poll, <em>From the Cradle</em> was voted Clapton’s fourth-best guitar album, sandwiched between Cream’s <em>Wheels of Fire</em> (Number 5) and <em>Disraeli Gears</em> (Number 3). </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/AjqcMaDJGmo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Muddy Waters, "Hoochie Coochie Man"</strong></p> <p>This song was recorded or performed by a huge list of name-brand artists, including Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Phish, the New York Dolls, Dixon himself, the Allman Brothers Band and more. But <em>the</em> version belongs to Muddy Waters, who initially recorded it in 1954. It became one of Waters' most popular and identifiable songs and helped secure Dixon's role as Chess Records' chief songwriter.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/NV_ZhBcNiQQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>The Rolling Stones, "Little Red Rooster"</strong></p> <p>Can you believe the Stones took this song to Number 1 on the U.K. singles charts in late 1964? I think it's the only time (ever) that a pure blues song has claimed the top spot on the U.K. charts.</p> <p>"[This] was [Brian Jones'] masterpiece, his inspired guitar howling like a hound, barking like a dog, crowing like a rooster," said Rolling Stones biographer Stephen Davis. As former Stones bassist Bill Wyman added, "I believe 'Rooster' provided Brian Jones with one of his finest hours."</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/OfJVeHKVcE8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, "Let Me Love You Baby"</strong></p> <p>This upbeat Dixon tune, a highlight of Vaughan's 1989 <em>In Step</em> album, also was covered by Buddy Guy in ancient times. Check out this fan-filmed live version from November 11, 1989, at New York City's Madison Square Garden. I was actually at this show. A drunk guy threw up directly behind me, but my brother and my friend didn't tell me. Good times!</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/6ci0Fk14Y7s" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>The Small Faces, "You Need Loving"</strong></p> <p>I love including the Small Faces on these lists, because in 2015, they just don't get the love they deserve. I also like what happens at exactly 3:35 in the YouTube player below. Be sure to head to that spot. Does it remind you of anything? Remember it was recorded in 1966.</p> <p>When Dixon wrote this tune, it was called "You Need Love." The song was, um, "borrowed" a few times after that.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/tp0jZ4BGuDw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Led Zeppelin, "I Can't Quit You Baby"</strong></p> <p>Here's the powerful, echo-filled <em>Coda</em> version of Dixon's "I Can't Quit You Baby" as performed by Led Zeppelin. This is actually one of my favorite officially released Led Zeppelin recordings of all time. I love how Jimmy Page intentionally jumps the gun on the turnaround chords <em>because he knew it would sound exciting if he did.</em> And it did.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/9jzGulTn6N8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>Buddy Guy, "When My Left Eye Jumps"</strong></p> <p>Buddy Guy's version of this Dixon/Al Perkins tune features some great singing and guitar playing. It also includes the line: "When my left eye get to jumpin', and my flesh begin to crawl / I know you got some other mule, that's kickin' in my stall." Genius! </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/TEMcudqynnc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em><a href="https://soundcloud.com/damian-fanelli/mister-neutron-super-1">Damian Fanelli</a> is the online managing editor at </em>Guitar World<em> and </em><a href="http://www.guitaraficionado.com/">Guitar Aficionado</a><em>. His New York-based band, <a href="https://soundcloud.com/damian-fanelli/the-blue-meanies-heart-full-of">the Blue Meanies,</a> has toured the world and elsewhere. Fanelli, a former member of Brooklyn jump-blues/rockabilly band <a href="http://www.thegashousegorillas.com/">the Gas House Gorillas</a> and New York City surf-rock band <a href="http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/MisterNeutron">Mister Neutron,</a> writes GuitarWorld.com's <a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/next-bend-clarence-white-inspired-country-b-bender-lick-video">The Next Bend,</a> a column dedicated to <a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/next-bend-10-essential-b-bender-guitar-songs-damian-fanelli">B-benders.</a> His latest liner notes can be found in Legacy's </em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/The-Complete-Epic-Recordings-Collection/dp/B00MJFQ24W">Stevie Ray Vaughan: The Complete Epic Recordings Collection.</a><em> Follow him on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/damianfanelliguitar">Facebook,</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/damianfanelli">Twitter</a> and/or <a href="https://instagram.com/damian_fanelli/">Instagram.</a></em></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/doors-0">The Doors</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/jeff-beck">Jeff Beck</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/eric-clapton">Eric Clapton</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/cream">Cream</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/stevie-ray-vaughan">Stevie Ray Vaughan</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/led-zeppelin">Led Zeppelin</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/buddy-guy">Buddy Guy</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/10-ten-best-willie-dixon-songs-covers-essential#comments 10 Best Songs blues Buddy Guy Cream Damian Fanelli Eric Clapton Essential Listening Jeff Beck Stevie Ray Vaughan The Doors Top 10 Willie Dixon Guitar World Lists Videos Blogs News Features Wed, 01 Jul 2015 14:11:07 +0000 Damian Fanelli 24855 at http://www.guitarworld.com The 25 Things Every Guitarist Should Know http://www.guitarworld.com/25-things-every-guitarist-should-know <!--paging_filter--><p><em>Many people believe that possessing talent alone is enough to guarantee an artist success in the music business. Nothing could be further from the truth. In a perfect world, the best musicians—the best guitarists—would be amply rewarded for their abilities. The music business, however, is far from perfect. </em></p> <p>And unless you're one of the blessed few (such as Eddie Van Halen) who can single-handedly change the course of guitar history, the harsh reality is that killer chops and perfect time impress only other guitarists, not the people who hire you or buy the records.</p> <p>Talent, of course, is any artist's basic bread and butter, but whether you're a fingerpicker or a two-handed tapper, in order to survive the music business and distinguish yourself from the thousands of other guitarists who are after your gig, you must boast some other essential qualities. </p> <p>These range from good people skills to practical, common-sense approaches to your business (Fact it, that's what it is), both of which will help you stand out from the pack—and believe me, there's nothing more frightening that a pack of hungry, feral guitarists. </p> <p>For your edification, I have crunched these qualities—the many do's and don'ts of guitar existence—into 25 hardheaded, clearly wrought maxims. Learn them, memorize them, master them and imbibe. You'll be a better person for it, a better guitarist, and you just may make your way from the garage to the arena stage.</p> <p><strong>01. Nobody likes an asshole</strong></p> <p>Reality check: Most musicians don't give a damn whether you're the second coming of Jimi, Eddie or Buck Dharma. They just want someone with a good attitude who will play the parts correctly. And since most of your time is spent offstage, relating with the other musicians on a personal level becomes as important as relating to them musically. Remember-no one is indispensable. Just ask David Lee Roth.</p> <p><strong>02. Having a great feel is your most important musical asset</strong></p> <p>No one will want to play with you if you have bad time. You must have a great feel-it's that simple. By "great feel" I mean the ability to lock in with the rhythm section and produce a track that grooves. If there's one thing I would recommend you to constantly work on, it's developing your groove. Listen to the greats to learn how grooves should be played: from rock (Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" to 16th-note funk (James Brown's "Sex Machine") to blues shuffle ("Pride and Joy" by Stevie Ray Vaughan). Tape yourself (with a metronome) playing them-you'll be able to isolate and work on your problem areas. Or pick up the excellent JamTrax series (Music Sales), a series of play-along tapes covering everything from blues to alternative to metal, to stay in shape. This is the one area where you should be most brutal in your self-assessment. You'll be a much better player for it.</p> <p><strong>03. Develop your own sound </strong></p> <p>There's no better way to learn how to play than to cop licks from your favorite guitarists. The problem to watch out for is when you start sounding too much like your favorite player. Remember, rules, especially musical rules, are made to be broken.</p> <p><strong>04. Be on time</strong></p> <p>You wouldn't believe how many musicians don't believe that punctuality is important. It is crucial.</p> <p><strong>05. Listen, listen, listen!</strong></p> <p>When you're on stage or in the studio, don't be in your own world-listen and interact with the other musicians you're working with. React to what they're playing. Don't play too loud or get in the way when someone else is soloing. Put their egos ahead of yours-your number will always be called if the other musicians feel that you made them sound better.</p> <hr /> <p><strong>06. Know what you want to be</strong></p> <p>The most successful people in the music business are totally focused-they have specific goals in mind and do whatever is necessary to achieve them. The simple realization that you don't have to be a musician to be a rock star and don't have to be a rock star to be a musician can spare you years of cynicism and bitterness.</p> <p><strong>07. Play for the song, not for yourself</strong></p> <p>It's imperative to play what's idiomatically correct. For example, don't play Yngwie licks on Bush's "Glycerine" or a noodly jazz solo on Soundgarden's "Outshined," no matter how much it impresses you. I learned this the hard way while auditioning for a punk singer. I thought I'd show her what a good, well-rounded musician I was and ended a thrash song in A with an Am(add9) chord, instead of a more appropriate A5. I was promptly shown the door.</p> <p><strong>08. Play with musicians who are better (and better known) than you</strong></p> <p>There's no faster way to improve and jump up to the next level than to play with great musicians. You'll learn the tricks of the trade, and pick up on their years of experience in the trenches, as well. But if you want to be a star, there's no better way to kick-start your career than by ingratiating yourself with someone famous and be seen sycophantically swilling drinks with him or her at the coolest bar in town.</p> <p><strong>09. Less is more</strong></p> <p>Most players you hear or read about pay lip service to what has become the guitardom's ultimate cliché. The fact is, though, what's glibly easy to say is not necessarily easy to do. I learned this on a gig backing up a singer on a cruise ship (It was the actual "Love Boat!"). Back then, I couldn't read music or play over changes very well, so during the first show, in abject fear, I played very sparsely-only what I was sure would work. After the show, the singer told me she had never worked with so sensitive an accompanist.</p> <p><strong>10. Image does matter</strong></p> <p>This is one of the sad truths about the music business. The good news, however, is that not every musical situation calls for the same image. So use some common sense-if you're going to be auditioning for a wimpy jangle band, don't come dressed like a Marilyn Manson cast-off.</p> <hr /> <p><strong>11. It's essential to have a great touch, or vibrato</strong></p> <p>There are players who say it took them 10-15 years to develop a great vibrato. They're the lucky ones-most never find it. Your touch is like your fingerprints-it's what distinguishes your blues playing, for instance, from that of countless other guitarists. Think of B.B. King or Jimi Hendrix-they are instantly recognizable. There are two main types of vibrato: one generated by the wrist (a la Hendrix and B.B. King) and the other from the fingers (favored more by classical guitarists). To determine which type works for you, check out your favorite guitarists' vibratos and try to imitate them. You can also pick up B.B. King's video <em>Bluesmaster</em> (Volume 1) to see his unique "bee-sting" vibrato demonstrated in-depth.</p> <p><strong>12. Get your sound/tone together</strong></p> <p>I can't emphasize enough how important this is. Know your gear well enough so that it works for you, not against you. For example, if you're looking for a Stevie Ray tone, you won't get it with a Les Paul going through a Marshall. You'll need a Strat running through a Fender Bassman (with an Ibanez Tube Screamer for extra punch). Unless you're a studio tech-head, a great guitar and amp (with an overdrive or chorus pedal) will probably sound 10 times better than a refrigerator full of rack-mounted shit (believe me, I've been there).</p> <p><strong>13. Practice what you don't know, not what you do know</strong></p> <p>In order to improve, you must practice. That sounds frightening, but let me reassure you that good practicing doesn't necessarily entail sitting grimly in a basement (while the other kids are outside playing), mindlessly running scales and arpeggios-you can get all the technique you need by learning licks from your favorite guitarists. For example, Eric Johnson's intro to "Cliffs of Dover" is a veritable lexicon of minor-pentatonic ideas. Here are the three axioms of good practicing:</p> <p>A. Master small bits of music first (no more than four to eight notes at a time), then connect them to form longer passages.</p> <p>B. Start out playing new ideas at a slow tempo (this builds muscle memory), then gradually work up to speed. It's much better to play slow and clean than fast and sloppy.</p> <p>C. Always practice with a metronome</p> <p><strong>14. Get your business chops together</strong></p> <p>Business chops are just as important as musical ones, if not more so. If you want to make money as a musician, you have to start seeing yourself as a business and your music as a product. Acting against the stereotype of a musician (you know—stupid, drunk and gullible), as hard as that may be, will show club owners and record execs that you're not a pushover.</p> <p><strong>15. Be fluent with both major and minor pentatonic scales</strong></p> <p>In rock, pop, blues or country situations, knowing these scales will enable you to get by 80 percent of the time. I heartily recommend my book <em>Practical Pentatonics</em> (Music Sales)-a nifty little volume that covers just about all you need to know to be comfortable using the pentatonic scale in real-life gigging situations.</p> <hr /> <p><strong>16. As soon as you learn something cool, apply it immediately to a real-life musical situation</strong></p> <p>Many guitarists learn tons of licks that sound great when played in the practice room. But the minute they get on stage, they have a hard time integrating this new material into their playing. Before you learn something new, you should have an idea where you could fit it in.</p> <p><strong>17. Learn as many melodies as you can</strong></p> <p>Not only does learning melodies to tunes (any tunes) increase your repertoire, it also (subconsciously) gives you an incredibly distinct edge in developing your phrasing. Ideally, you should be able to duplicate any melody you hear.</p> <p>A. Listen to how singers interpret melodies and try to mimic their phrasing on the guitar.</p> <p>B. Try to play back any, and I mean any, melody you hear-be it a TV commercial, nursery rhyme or the Mister Softee ice cream truck theme.</p> <p>C. Always learn a melody on more than one place on the guitar neck. You want to play the melody, not have the melody play you.</p> <p><strong>18. Know your place</strong></p> <p>When a bandleader asks you to play something a certain way, smile and do it! Don't argue. Don't pout. Don't think you know better. Don't be an asshole. You'll have plenty of time to be in charge when your three-disk epic rock opera adaptation of The Jeffersons gets picked up.</p> <p><strong>19. Contrary to popular belief, taking lessons and listening to other styles of music doesn't hurt</strong></p> <p>It never hurts to broaden your scope, no matter how great a player you already are or how much you think you've already learned all there is to know. Opening your mind to other styles and techniques makes you a better, more well-rounded musician. Period. A great teacher can inspire and enable you to develop as a creative, exciting player.</p> <p><strong>20. Learn as many tunes as possible, from start to finish</strong></p> <p>It doesn't matter what style you like to play in, the more tunes you know, the easier it is to get a gig or kick ass on a jam session. And there's no excuse for not doing it-even if you're not at the point where you can learn tunes off the recording, you can avail yourself of the hundreds of transcription books out there. Heck, you can learn five new tunes a month just by reading <em>Guitar World</em>!</p> <hr /> <p><strong>21. Develop authority as a player</strong></p> <p>You have to get to the point where you feel as creatively comfortable in front of hundreds of people as you do in front of your sister and the dog. And the only way you can attain that authority is by putting in the time. Playing at home only gets you so far-it's imperative that you play out as soon as you can. Attend jam sessions. Take less-than-ideal gigs, just for the experience. Take any gigs, for that matter-it's the experience that counts!</p> <p><strong>22. Hang out with other musicians</strong></p> <p>The best way to get contacts and gigs is to be seen and heard. How can anyone recommend you if they don't know who you are? As unpleasant and greasy as this may sound, do your best to befriend other guitarists. Though there's intense competition amongst players, most of your work will come as a result of recommendations made by other guitarists.</p> <p><strong>23. Know the fundamentals</strong></p> <p>Being able to hear common chord changes will help you learn tunes off the radio faster. Knowing a little basic theory will help you with your songwriting and your ability to intuitively come up with rhythm parts. For example, knowing that the harmonic structure of most blues tunes is I-IV-V (C-F-G) and that early rock ballads were usually built on I-vi-IV-V progressions (C-Am-F-G) will help you to play just about any tune in those genres or compose one of your own. One more plug: you also might want to check out my book <em>The Advanced Guitar Case Chord Book</em> (Music Sales) to get an idea of how to apply cool chord voicings to common progressions in all types of music.</p> <p><strong>24. Be careful out there</strong></p> <p>As soon as you or your band become somewhat popular, all sorts of characters are going to start crawling out of the gutter with designs on you. Have fun, but don't go overboard. And always keep an eye on your equipment-it's your life's blood. And try to save some cash.</p> <p><strong>25. Don't shit where you eat</strong></p> <p>Don't fuck the singer. Don't fuck the drummer's girlfriend. Don't fuck the drummer's dog. Don't fuck the drummer. Don't backstab your bandmates. Don't pocket tips. Don't be an asshole!</p> http://www.guitarworld.com/25-things-every-guitarist-should-know#comments GW Archive Guitar World Lists News Features Magazine Wed, 01 Jul 2015 09:35:11 +0000 Askold Buk 11121 at http://www.guitarworld.com August 2015 Guitar World: B.B. King's Greatest Guitar Moments, PRS Guitars Anniversary, Frank Marino and More http://www.guitarworld.com/august-2015-guitar-world-tribute-bb-king-his-10-greatest-guitar-moments-between-buried-and-me-prs-30th-anniversary-frank-marino <!--paging_filter--><p><a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/products/guitar-world-august-15-b-b-king/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=GWAUG15/"><strong>The all-new August 2015 issue of Guitar World is available now!</strong></a></p> <p><em>Guitar World</em>’s August 2015 issue pays tribute to American legend <strong>B.B. King</strong>, who influenced generations of electric blues guitarists. We also take a critical look at King’s 10 greatest guitar moments.</p> <p>Then, North Carolina tech-metallers <strong>Between the Buried and Me</strong> solidify their status as one of prog-metal’s most forward-thinking groups with their new album, <em>Coma Ecliptic</em>.</p> <p>Also, <strong>PRS Guitars</strong> celebrates its 30th anniversary as one of the leading manufacturers of U.S.-made electrics. Take an in-depth look at the shapely six-string stunner known as the S2.</p> <p>Later, legendary Mahogany Rush guitarist <strong>Frank Marino</strong> sets the record straight about his mysterious career, his disdain for the music industry and how the guitar saved his life.</p> <p>Finally, there's our new <strong>string roundup</strong>! <em>Guitar World</em> selects the best and the brightest strings to keep you in tune and playing longer.</p> <p>PLUS: Tune-ups, including <strong>Megadeth</strong> in the studio, <strong>Armored Saint</strong>, Playlist with <strong>Hinder</strong>, Dear Guitar Hero with <strong>Todd Rundgren, Thy Art is Murder,</strong> and more. Soundcheck gear reviews include <strong>Bogner's</strong> Burnley, Harlow and Wessex pedals, the <strong>Vox</strong> Custom Series AC10C1 amp, <strong>Music Man</strong> StingRay Neck Through bass, the <strong>John Page Classic</strong> Ashburn electric guitar and more!</p> <p><strong>Five Songs with Tabs for Guitar and Bass:</strong></p> <p>• B.B. King - "Sweet Little Angel" (live)<br /> • In This Moment - "Whore"<br /> • Five Finger Death Punch - "House of the Rising Sun"<br /> • Death - "Spirit Crusher"<br /> • Ed Sheeran - "Thinking Out Loud"</p> <p><a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/products/guitar-world-august-15-b-b-king/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=GWAUG15/"><strong>The all-new August 2015 issue of Guitar World is available now at the Online Store!</strong></a></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202015-06-16%20at%201.14.12%20PM.png" width="620" height="804" alt="Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 1.14.12 PM.png" /></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/bb-king">B.B. King</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/august-2015-guitar-world-tribute-bb-king-his-10-greatest-guitar-moments-between-buried-and-me-prs-30th-anniversary-frank-marino#comments August 2015 B.B. King News Features Wed, 01 Jul 2015 09:33:44 +0000 Guitar World Staff 24814 at http://www.guitarworld.com Yngwie Malmsteen Shreds with Alcatrazz in 1984 — Video http://www.guitarworld.com/video-yngwie-malmsteen-shreds-alcatrazz-1984 <!--paging_filter--><p>For today's flashback video, we're dropping in on a young Yngwie Malmsteen, circa-1984.</p> <p>Fans who got to see the Graham Bonnet-led Alcatrazz perform in the early to mid-Eighties were treated to bits and pieces of Malmsteen's mastery in pretty much every song—but especially when he took his extended solo breaks.</p> <p>Below, you can check out one such break, recorded during Alcatrazz's 1984 tour of Japan. </p> <p>After some mind-blowing, scalloped-fretboard hijinx, Malmsteen launches into his interpretation of Bach's "Bouree." </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/KcbXcZLd6zo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/yngwie-malmsteen">Yngwie Malmsteen</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/video-yngwie-malmsteen-shreds-alcatrazz-1984#comments Alcatrazz Yngwie Malmsteen Videos News Features Tue, 30 Jun 2015 15:40:32 +0000 Damian Fanelli 18269 at http://www.guitarworld.com